October 1st, 2012

Majority of third-strike inmates are addicts, records show

Convicts imprisoned under California’s three strikes law are no more inclined to high-risk “criminal thinking” than other inmates, but are far more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, according to data from the state prisons department.

Our new data analysis, conduced with the San Francisco Chronicle, reveals that in all, nearly 70% of convicts with a third strike show a high need for substance abuse treatment, compared with 48% of all inmates tested. Currently, only 15-20% of inmates receive any education, therapy or drug treatment.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Inmate counselor Vincent Russo talks about healthy relationships at an Addiction Recovery Counseling meeting at San Quentin State Prison in August. Credit: Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle

July 2nd, 2012
Gaming California’s prisons
The ACLU of California has turned a deadly serious subject — the state’s overcrowded prisons — into a game. Their new online interactive, “Think Outside the Box,” gives users full discretion over the financial future of corrections in California.
It is equal parts game and guided tour through the state’s criminal justice struggles. After players pick funding levels for prison cells and capitol punishment (labeled “My Prison Cuts”), the game cheers up, allowing them to spend the cash they’ve cut from the corrections. Users can horde those dollars or dole them out for schools, police and social programs. 
“We wanted to vividly illustrate there are trade-offs in funding,” Kelli Evans, associate director of the ACLU of Northern California, said of the game’s structure.
What kinds of choices would you make with California prisons’ finances? Try your hand at Think Outside the Box here.
Image via ACLU.

Gaming California’s prisons

The ACLU of California has turned a deadly serious subject — the state’s overcrowded prisons — into a game. Their new online interactive, “Think Outside the Box,” gives users full discretion over the financial future of corrections in California.

It is equal parts game and guided tour through the state’s criminal justice struggles. After players pick funding levels for prison cells and capitol punishment (labeled “My Prison Cuts”), the game cheers up, allowing them to spend the cash they’ve cut from the corrections. Users can horde those dollars or dole them out for schools, police and social programs. 

“We wanted to vividly illustrate there are trade-offs in funding,” Kelli Evans, associate director of the ACLU of Northern California, said of the game’s structure.

What kinds of choices would you make with California prisons’ finances? Try your hand at Think Outside the Box here.

Image via ACLU.

October 3rd, 2011

Take a look some of our earlier reporting on the prison hunger strike: As new hunger strike begins, prison officials investigate advocates

 latimes:

Prison hunger strikers now number 12,000, advocates say:

Advocates for California prison inmates conducting a hunger strike said the number of participants has swelled to 12,000, making it possibly the largest prison strike in recent U.S. history.

Photo: Inmate Timothy Kelly at Pelican Bay State Prison, where inmates waged a hunger strike in July to protest alleged mistreatment. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Reblogged from Los Angeles Times
May 27th, 2011

latimes:

More on California prisons: A computer system that lacked key information about California inmates factored in the release of an estimated 450 prisoners with a “high risk of violence,” according to the California inspector general.

Reblogged from Los Angeles Times
May 26th, 2011

An interesting Infographic from GOOD. School Cafeteria Food vs. Prison Food.

May 26th, 2011

A state audit that found prison officials allowed 450 violent convicts to be placed on unsupervised parole last year prompted a sharp exchange between the department of corrections and the inspector general’s office.

A report released yesterday by Inspector General Bruce Monfross blamed the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for improperly evaluating 1,500 inmates using an automated risk-assessment program developed by researchers at UC Irvine. The inmates included 450 dangerous criminals who were mistakenly place on unsupervised – or non-revocable – parole.

May 25th, 2011

"More than 162,000 inmates currently reside in California’s prison system. For years, many facilities have held nearly twice the number of prisoners they were built for." Incredible photos from inside California’s prisons from Mother Jones. Follow them on Tumblr.

May 24th, 2011

good:

On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered California to reduce overcrowding in its prisons. So just how bad is it? California’s 33 state prisons are designed to hold a total of 80,000 inmates. As of Monday, they held 143,435 inmates, nearly 180 percent of their intended capacity, resulting in one preventable death every week. Prison overcrowding has been a problem in California for decades.

See more infographics here →

Infographic: Just How Crowded Are California’s Prisons? - Politics - GOOD

Reblogged from
May 23rd, 2011
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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.

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