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News items related to overcrowding

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California and the Prison Crisis
California has been facing a prison crisis for decades and it has been constantly flip-flopping.  Back in 2007 Los Angeles Times writer George Skelton summed it up well saying that when it comes to crime both the politicians and the electorate "have demanded that California lock up the bad guys and keep 'em there for a very long time. But they haven't wanted to pay for it." At that point in time (February) the prison population was around 173,000 yet the capacity was about 100,000.  A…
San Quentin State Prison
On March 17, 2011 CJCJ staff toured San Quentin State Prison with the kind permission and supervision of Lieutenant Samuel Robinson.  San Quentin State Prison, home to 4,999 incarcerated men and currently operating at 162% of its design capacity is touted as one of the more progressive California state prisons, yet it struggles to provide services to its burgeoning prison population.   The gymnasium at San Quentin has been utilized as a large open dormitory for the past twenty years, in…
Big Changes in Incarceration Policy Needed to Confront Overcrowding
Today, 70,000 nonviolent offenders are locked up in state prison at bankrupting $3.5 billion per year costs to the state, with fiscal conditions getting gloomier as courts order upgrades in prison conditions and reductions in prison populations. Do local jails have the capacity to absorb a significant proportion, perhaps the 30,000 to 40,000, of these drug and property offense convicts--or even, on an immediate basis, the 15,000 or so we found were imprisoned for extremely low-level , mostly…
California Prison Crisis Goes All the Way to the Supreme Court
The case is Schwarzenegger v. Plata and it epitomizes the dire circumstances of the nation's penal system.  With more than 2 million locked up on any given day, including about 1.5 million in prison (not to mention the fact that more than 7 million adults are somewhere in the criminal justice system on any given day -- jail, prison, probation, parole), the country has come face to face with the inevitable result of its incessant need to punish.  Not only does the US have the highest rate of…
CJCJ co-hosts the Correctional Crisis Conference
In June 2010 the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice entered into a unique partnership with the California Correctional Peace Officer's Association by co-hosting the Correctional Crisis Conference.  This collaborative effort convenes California's leading correctional experts and stakeholders from the entire spectrum of the criminal justice system. The goal of the roundtable discussions is to develop a set of policy recommendations for the gubernatorial candidates that will elevate the…
Listen to CJCJ's First Broadcast: The Problem of Prison Overcrowding in California
CJCJ is developing a new component to our public education efforts.  We are creating regular news broadcasts to further educate the public regarding numerous important events occurring within the justice system.  The stories we will cover deal with a number of issues to include policy change, violations of current criminal or juvenile justice policies, and much more. We believe you will benefit from our broadcasts, as they provide quick and easy access to key information on pressing criminal…
Broadcast: The Problem of Prison Overcrowding in California
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice Program Director Gerald Miller offers his insight on the overcrowding of California prisons.  He discusses the criminalization of unwanted social behaviors, what overcrowding actually looks like, the effects it has on violence, and the important role community programs play in fixing this problem.   Listen  to staff Ashley Afferino interview CJCJ Program Director and SF Reentry Commissioner Gerald Miller on prison overcrowding. Brief History From…
Three judges and the California prison system
The recent decision by the three judge panel in the Coleman/Plata case should be applauded as a short but positive step forward in forcing some degree of sanity upon the broken California prison system.  Unfortunately, the fact that a panel of Federal judges was forced to step in and force the state to make long overdue policy decisions is simply another poignant reminder of our political systems dysfunctionality.   California's prison crisis is a political construct that an evil scheming mad…
Daniel Macallair: Federal Courts to the Rescue: Fixing California's Broken Prison System
Read Executive Director Daniel Macallairs piece in BeyondChron on Federal Courts to the Rescue: Fixing California's Broken Prison System
Federal Courts to the Rescue: Fixing California's Broken Prison System

Federal Courts to the Rescue: Fixing California's Broken Prison System BeyondChron, August 20, 2009

Little Hoover Commission releases report
Little Hoover Commission releases report Bay Area IndyMedia, February 9, 2007
OT pushes guard's pay past $100,000
OT pushes guard's pay past $100,000 Chicago Tribune, December 23, 2006
Prison reform: Doing hard time
Prison reform: Doing hard time Orange County Register, August 20, 2006
Governor Takes On Prison Reform
Governor Takes On Prison Reform The California Report, December 20, 2004
Prioritizing Incarceration: Does San Francisco Need a Jail on Treasure Island?

An analysis of the need for a new women's jail in San Francisco determines there is no justifiable reason to build one.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Plight of Adolescent Girls in The San Francisco Juvenile Justice System

This report presents recommendations about serving the unique needs of girls in the San Francisco Juvenile Probation system. 

Transforming California's Prisons into Expensive Old Age Homes for Felons: Enormous Hidden Costs and Consequences for California's Taxpayers

Given the high costs to house elderly inmates in prison, and their low likelihood of reoffending, the public safety benefits of long sentences are called into question.

Race & Incarceration In San Francisco: Two Years Later

A follow up on a 1992 study of San Francisco's racially disparate incarceration trends finds a city steeped in rhetoric rather than reason.

Singapore West: The Incarceration of 200,000 Californians

As incarceration rates in California continued to increase during the 1990's this report debunks the perceived public safety benefit, through an international comparison.

Trading Books for Bars: The Lopsided Funding Battle Between Prison and Universities

In a time of fiscal crisis and increasingly limited discretionary spending, such vast increases in prison spending will necessarily threaten both the quality and availability of higher education in California. 

The Prison Population Explosion California's Rogue Elephant

Examination of corrections in CA concludes, "we starve programs which could have an impact on crime in order to pour money into a bloated imprisonment program which cannot work." 

Race & Incarceration in San Francisco: Localizing Apartheid

This report compares the incarceration rates of African American males in San Francisco to those of African American males in the United States overall and black males in South Africa.

Concrete And Crowds: 100,000 Prisoners of the State

As California's prison population tops 100,000, we urge policy makers to reflect upon the high costs and negative results of our reliance upon jails. 

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