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Cops & Courts

Criminal justice news


  Six by ten feet. That’s the average size of solitary confinement cells. Tens of thousands of people incarcerated in the United States linger in solitary confinement for weeks, months, or even decades.

Courtesty of San Quentin Radio

From San Quentin Radio:

When people are sentenced to prison time in California, they’ll either serve a finite period, like, seven years, or an indefinite period. If they can demonstrate ‘good behavior’ in prison, incarcerated people can be eligible for a parole hearing to decide whether they might be released, with certain conditions. But, being approved for parole doesn’t mean someone gets to go straight home — there’s a catch.

Image via <a href="https://www.weisspaarz.com/">WeissPaarz.com</a>


  Since the 1970s, the conservative movement has been working to take the courts from liberals. And they’ve been wildly successful. On this edition of Your Call we ask: How did they pull it off?

How should psychological science be used to improve our criminal justice system? 


By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

In 2017, Federal Elections Committee chair Ann Ravel resigned saying: “The mission of the FEC is essential to ensuring a fair electoral process. Yet, since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, our political campaigns have been awash in unlimited, often dark, money.”

Office of the Vice President


What does Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record tell us about what kind of Supreme Court Justice he would be? What would his confirmation mean for crucial issues like abortion, LGBTQ rights, affirmative action, and gun control?

Flikr User Thomas Hawk / used under CC BY-NC 2.0

BART riders are on edge after a spate of killings on the system, including the brutal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson. In the wake of the violence, the transit agency announced plans for a $28 million dollar security package. That proposal includes a ban on panhandling, a fierce crackdown on fare evasion, and a ramped up surveillance system.

Stephen Maing


  On this edition of Your Call, we discuss Crime + Punishment, a new documentary that chronicles the struggles of the NYPD officers who exposed race-based arrest quotas.

 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons by user Ammodramus

  

How far have we come in reforming criminal justice, and what will it take to change the system? With 2.2 million people behind bars, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Still, that number is at a two-decade low, according to a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

Photo by Axel Dupeux / Open Society Foundations

  

On this edition of Your Call, we're talking about how families are affected when their loved ones go to prison. When Issac Bailey was just nine, he saw his oldest brother taken away in handcuffs. Moochie Bailey was imprisoned for murder for 32 years. Half of the ten boys in Bailey's family eneded up in the criminal justice system.

Hana Baba

For the first time in nearly a decade, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is running against an opponent.

Courtesy of Pamela Price

Pamela Price is an African American civil rights attorney who says she wants to create change in Alameda County's criminal justice systems.

What does society owe people who've been wrongly convicted?

May 31, 2018
Photo courtesy Northern California Innocence Project

  

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about what happens after someone is exonerated. What does society owe them?

Portrait: Matthew Septimus | Book art: Basic Books

  

The largest providers of psychiatric care in the US aren’t hospitals – they’re jails and prisons. On this edition of Your Call, we speak with journalist Alisa Roth about her new book Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness.

 

  

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about why the increase of women in prisons has far surpassed the growth of male prisoners in the US.

 

Back in 2016, Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months behind bars for raping an unconscious woman. The case sparked international outrage.  

Holly McDede

When Stanford student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in prison for sexual assault back in 2016, lots of people thought he deserved a longer sentence. They saw a white, college athlete let off the hook.

 

Losing your language in prison

May 16, 2018
MICHAEL LORUSSO / Flikr / Creative Commons

Imagine if you forgot how to speak the language you learned as a child — a language that gave you an identity, a language that says, "Hey you belong here, you're one of us." How will your sense of self be impacted?

The first weeks of freedom

May 16, 2018
Marissa Ortega-Welch

Anouthinh “Choy” Pangthong worked with KALW’s San Quentin Radio program for a couple years. Choy’s been in prison since he was 15. Then last month, after serving 22 years behind bars, he was released on parole.

Making art from San Quentin's Death Row

May 16, 2018
Photo Melissa Ysais (2018) / Courtesy of The William A. Noguera Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

 

About 750 incarcerated people have been sentenced to death in California. One of them is William Noguera. He’s a Colombian-American who grew up in a suburb of L.A, and he’s spent nearly 30 years on San Quentin’s Death Row after murdering his girlfriend’s mother when he was a teenager.

 

Proposition H is a San Francisco ballot measure that would speed up the process of arming the city’s police officers with stun guns.

San Francisco’s police officers are already on track to carry taser stun guns. Last November, the city’s police commission voted to arm police with tasers.

 

All over the world, Victory Outreach churches reach out to the downtrodden, including drug users, alcoholics and gang members.

Handout / Wikimedia Commons

California has seen some notorious serial killers over the years, including the Zodiac Killer, the Grim Sleeper, and the Hillside Strangler. But the Golden State Killer might be the most terrifying. 

kgroovy / Flikr Creative Commons

 

Kevin Cortopassi / Flikr Creative Commons

Since Sacramento police shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard last month, protests have taken to the streets almost everyday.

Jeff Foster

There’s Wifi and Tesla, Cheerios and Cocoa Puff. There are three registered Clintons, and thirteen Bernies. Those are just some of the names of registered dogs residing in San Francisco, where the city's 120,000 canines famously outnumber its children.

Autism Behind Bars

Apr 3, 2018
Flickr user Michael LoRusso / Cropped and reused under CC license: https://bit.ly/2Ehdqjd

Autism is extremely hard to diagnose, because it can’t be tested for blood or genes. It’s a behavioral disorder. Often a parent or teacher has to notice the signs and request that a child is tested. Many people are living their lives without realizing they have autism. This includes people in prison.

Tony Webster

  

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss the killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot eight times by Sacramento police officers during a confrontation on March 18.

COURTESY OF JOSE ARTIGA

It's been over a year since President Donald Trump issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. After the order was made, mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

Photo by Rodney Dunning used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

  

On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing white supremacists and neo-nazis inside and outside of police forces. Recent reporting shows how police have ignored or even worked with white supremacists at political rallies.

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