May 1st, 2012

"Once you’re in you’re in. There’s no backing down. I felt like I was finally a part of something." - Go behind the story of the documentary "Nuestra Familia, Our Family," a film about gun violence in Salinas, California.

March 12th, 2012
There’s well over 400,000 gang members in the state of California, and those gang members frequently come to prison, and they bring their street gang politics.
Corrections Undersecretary Terri McDonald. McDonald commented on the change of policies where now state inmates with alleged ties to prison gangs will no longer be routinely locked in isolation units. Prisoners assigned to the controversial facilities will face shorter mandatory terms, according to policies unveiled today by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The new regulations also expand the classification system used to determine which inmates are locked in the Security Housing Units. Under current rules, an inmate must be identified or “validated” as a member of one of seven prison gangs. The new policy would target dangerous members of any group considered a threat to prison security, including street gangs, prison gangs and extremist groups.
November 1st, 2011

More than three years of research and filming resulted in this groundbreaking 2006 documentary that goes inside one of California’s most violent and organized gangs.

Nuestra Familia, Our Family, a presentation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Latino Public Broadcasting, features interviews in prison and on the streets with family members and gang members opening up about their lives, painting a haunting picture rarely seen by the public.

The film tells the story of a father in a small California farm town who raised his son to be a gang member. It follows the father’s painful struggle as he turns his own life around but then sees his son become deeply involved with the Nuestra Familia prison gang — and unknowingly falling into the grip of an FBI informant.

Learn more about the film. You can also buy the DVD through PayPal.

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.