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News items related to public safety

Immigration consequences of criminal convictions

There are many collateral consequences to criminal convictions in California, such as barriers to employment, housing, and social services. An additional concern that criminal defense attorneys should consider when advising their clients is the possible immigration consequences of their conviction.

CJCJ opposes governor's $315 million prison fix

Expensive short-term custodial solutions will not solve California's prison crisis and does not serve public safety interests.

Raising Victims' Voices

Common wisdom says crime victims favor harsh and punitive criminal justice policies. A new survey of victims shows otherwise.

Learning from lifers: sentencing reforms based on empirical evidence

A January 2013 CDCR study finds that “lifers recidivate at markedly lower rates than those who serve determinate sentences.” While this is not necessarily surprising to criminal justice stakeholders, it does raise a data-driven reason for pursuing sentencing reform.

Against violence and against incarceration

Anti-violence activists, who often demand harsher penalties for offenders, tend to work in opposition to those fighting overuse of incarceration, who call for the opposite. This antagonism leaves women of color on the sidelines, as they are disproportionately impacted by both gender-based violence and the criminal justice system.

Charles Manson and the politics of fear

Forty-three years ago, Charles Manson and his “Family” of disciples brutally murdered nine innocent people in Los Angeles. The killings are among the most notorious in the nation’s history, and continue to haunt the public imagination. By March 3, Gov. Jerry Brown will decide whether to release one of the Family members, Bruce Davis, from prison.

For Real Prison Reform, Longer is Not Always Better

Last week, while defiantly declaring the end of California's prison crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown insisted further reductions in prison overcrowding "cannot be achieved without the early release of inmates serving time for serious or violent felonies"

Study: Long-term juvenile incarceration fails to decrease reoffending rates
A March 2011 study through the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) concludes that long-term juvenile incarceration does not decrease reoffending, and may actually increase recidivism rates for lower-level youth offenders.  Researchers conducted more than 21,000 interviews over 8 years with more than 1,300 felony offenders ages 14--18 in the cities of Philadelphia and Phoenix.   Researchers also interviewed parents and peers and examined arrest records. Their…
No Rehab: the case of Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
During the March 22 California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety , the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility was repeatedly discussed in testimony and public comment.  For many of California's reform-minded criminal justice advocates, the facility is both a paragon of dysfunction and demonstrates a need as well as an opportunity for meaningful change.  CJCJ and others have previously condemned the institution for its inability to address inhumane living conditions, and a culture of…
CA Assembly hears arguments for juvenile justice realignment
On Wednesday March 28th, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety heard testimony on Governor Brown's proposal to close California's remaining youth correctional facilities.  The Legislative Analyst's Office, Department of Finance, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation presented preliminary testimony, while CJCJ, the Ella Baker Center, Chief Probation Officers of California, and Los Angeles District Attorney's Office provided additional testimony in a second…
Justice Policy Journal - Volume 8, Number 2 - Fall 2011

(ISSN 1530-3012) From the editor Latina Exposure to Violence at School Incarcerated Sex Offenders' Perceptions of Prison Sex Offender Treatment Programs Fear, Views of Human Nature and the Potential Consequences for Capital Juries Creating the Youthful Offender in Connecticut An Examination of Media Accounts of Child Abductions in the United States From the editor By Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D. and Randall G. Shelden, M.A., Ph.D. From the Editors Once again it is time for…

Justice Policy Journal - Volume 7, Number 1 - Spring 2010
(ISSN 1530-3012) From the editor Toward A More Policy-Relevant National Drug Control Strategy Online Harassment and Victimization of College Students My Mother, My Hero: A personal reflection on domestic violence Attitudes Towards Megan's Law and Juvenile Sex Offenders "Don't Worry, It's Just a Tool": Enacting Selectively Enforced Laws Such as Curfew Laws Targeting Only the Bad Guys From the editor By Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D. and Randall G. Shelden, M.A., Ph.D. From the…
We don't want this to happen to anyone else
We don't want this to happen to anyone else PressDemocrat.com, March 5, 2010
The Trouble in Antioch
"As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren," the Associated Press reported on December 30. As Antioch's black population escalated sharply over the last decade to 16% of the city's 101,000 residents in 2007, "longtime homeowners complained that the new arrivals brought crime and…
Justice Policy Journal - Volume 3, Number 2 - Fall 2006
(ISSN 1530-3012) From the editor The System-Wide Effects of Capital Punishment on the American Criminal Justice System: The Use of Computer Modeling in Death Penalty Research Improving Compliance and Producing Positive Outcomes in the Mental Health Court Setting, with a Brief Look at Dynamic Risk Management Degradation, Apathy, and Acceptable Casualties: Serving Time in a Women's Federal Correctional Institute Adolescent Risk-Taking as a Justification for Paternalistic Legal…
California's Three-Strikes Law Ineffective

The data reported in the analysis here do not support claims that the three-strikes law reduced crimes rates through deterrence and selective incapacitation.

Striking Out: The Crime Control Impact of "Three-Strikes" Laws

Three years after implementation of three strikes in CA; public safety results inconclusive.

Big Time for Petty Crime: The Story of Petty Theft Offenders in California

At the cost of approximately $21,000 per year, California is spent $105 million per year to imprison shoplifters.  This study examines whether it impacted crime rates.

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.

Public Safety With Care: A Model System For Juvenile Justice In Hawai'i

An evaluation and workable plan for phasing Hawaii's juvenile justice system into a deinstitutionalized, community-based model of care.

California Stentencing Institute screenshot

California Sentencing
Institute (CASI)

Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.

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