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Who Do We Lock Up? Four Key Characteristics of Cal’s Prison Population

The Lowdown | Aug 31, 2012

Who Do We Lock Up? Four Key Characteristics of Cal’s Prison Population

Who’s actually behind bars in California? Here are four key characteristics of California’s prison population: Geography The majority of inmates come from the southern part of the state. A whopping 50,000 – or 34 percent of all prisoners – come from Los Angeles County alone. But the highest incarceration rates are concentrated in poorer counties …

KQED News

News Fix | Aug 23, 2012

Video: George Gascon, Steve Cooley Back Nov. Ballot Initiative Softening 3-Strikes Law

A tale of two DA’s: George Gascon, Steve Cooley. One is a San Francisco Democrat, the other an LA Republican. Cooley lost the 2010 California Attorney General race to Kamala Harris, whom Gascon then replaced as San Francisco’s District Attorney. Now, here are the two criminal justice officials together, interviewed by Scott Shafer, discussing their […]

Realignment Explained

The Lowdown | Aug 17, 2012

Realignment Explained

Last October California began a dramatic overhaul of its severely overcrowded prison system. Assembly Bill 109 – known as realignment – had the objective of shedding more than 30,000 inmates from in-state prisons and significantly cutting the prison budget. At the time the law took effect, there were more than 143,000 inmates behind bars in …

Is California’s Prison Realignment Experiment Working?

The Lowdown | Aug 16, 2012

Is California’s Prison Realignment Experiment Working?

Depends whom you ask (real helpful, huh?). On the one hand, the state has significantly reduced its prison population since realignment went into effect last October. At the end of September 2011, there were 144,456 inmates in the state’s 33 prisons, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (Note: that does not represent …

Shouldering the Burden: California’s New Jail Boom (interactive map)

The Lowdown | Aug 16, 2012

Shouldering the Burden: California’s New Jail Boom (interactive map)

California’s realignment process has resulted in many more new low-level offenders placed under county supervision rather than being put in the state prison system. Although the overall jail population has not changed significantly, many counties across the state have experienced a significant increase in their local sentenced inmate populations. Click on each county below for …

To Avoid Prison, Move to One of These Counties

News Fix | Jul 30, 2012

To Avoid Prison, Move to One of These Counties

Want to avoid prison? Then stay in the Bay Area. That’s one conclusion you might draw from a massive database assembled by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice on the people behind bars in each county. You can see a full interactive version of this map by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justic […]

KQED News

News Fix | Feb 17, 2012

Under Realignment, Far More Inmates Transferred to Contra Costa County Than Expected

(Bay City News) More than four months after California transferred responsibility for low-level offenders to counties, law enforcement officials in Contra Costa County are seeing far more inmates than projected. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bills 109 and 117, which shifted the responsibility for monitoring, tracking and imprisoning low-level offenders previously bound for […]

How One Law Helped Pack California’s Prisons

The Lowdown | Jan 23, 2012

How One Law Helped Pack California’s Prisons

A single state law from the 1970s completely transformed the way California sentences its criminals. The Uniform Determinate Sentencing Law was signed in 1976 by Governor Jerry Brown (yes,  same guy). Shortly thereafter the prison population metastasized. Here’s what happened: State prison inmates in Chino by Kevork Djansezian The language of the law literally says: …

KQED News

The Lowdown | Jan 10, 2012

Building the Empire: California’s Prison Building Bonanza

In 1950, California had four state prison facilities and about 11,500 prisoners. By 2006, at the peak of the state’s prison overcrowding, there were 33 prisons and more than 172,000 inmates! That’s an increase of more than 900 percent! Since 1950: California’s Prison Building Boom Scroll over the markers below for info on each of …

Packing the House: The Back Story on California’s Prison Boom

The Lowdown | Jan 06, 2012

Packing the House: The Back Story on California’s Prison Boom

This article retraces how the great prison boom in California came to exist.

KQED News

The Lowdown | Jan 05, 2012

Visualizing California’s Prison Boom

Scroll through the visualization below to get a sense of just how much the prison and parole populations has changed in the last 35 years. Produced by Luke Whyte; Voices of Justice  

Realignment is Here -- Counties to Receive Non-Violent Criminals From State

News Fix | Sep 29, 2011

Realignment is Here -- Counties to Receive Non-Violent Criminals From State

Starting this weekend, under a new law, AB 109, counties will be responsible for non-violent criminals and parolees instead of the state. Photo: Justin Sullivan/GettyThe reason for the shift? The state’s prisons are “bursting with people,” The California Report’s Scott Shafer told KQED’s Mina Kim yesterday. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California […]

KQED News

News Fix | Mar 23, 2011

New Series Explores How California Handles Juvenile Justice

The California Report’s Governing California, which explores how to repair what many consider to be a broken government, has produced a new series that focuses on juvenile justice. Governor Jerry Brown has talked a lot about “moving government closer to the people.” In government-speak, that’s called realignment, or pushing services from the state to the […]

 

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