When Governor Brown appointed Jeffrey Beard to be the new Secretary of Corrections in California last year, it was supposed to signal a new era. After decades of Correctional leaders who were insiders, brought up in a system that had normalized a state of permanent crisis and systemic inhumanity, Mr. Beard looked to be reason … Continue reading »
Today, July 8, 2013, prisoners in California’s supermax “SHU” units (for Secured Housing Units), are commencing a hunger strike and work stoppage, their second in two years (read the solidarity statement here). This is tragic. Hunger strikes are an extraordinary act of self deprivation by people who have almost nothing. They can result in the … Continue reading »
Living it up at the Hotel California: For Jerry Brown and California’s political leadership, it’s always 1977
Watching California politics these days I can’t help feeling that I’m lost in the late 1970s, when I first moved to the Golden State (in August of ’77 with the Eagle’s hit released that March still riding high on the charts). It’s not just that Jerry Brown is still governor. It’s that when it comes … Continue reading »
The turn-around state? Does California have one of the finest prison systems in the nation?
As readers of this blog know, Gov. Jerry Brown of California has combined leadership on reducing California’s bloated prison population with relentless attacks on the courts whose orders have made that badly needed “realignment” political possible. Still even I was surprised by the air of unreality to the Governor’s dual press conference yesterday, backing up … Continue reading »
California penal policy: Realignment and beyond
“Earlier this year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and AB 117, historic legislation that will enable California to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of state prisons. It is the cornerstone of California’s solution for reducing the number of inmates in the state’s 33 prisons … Continue reading »