Holly J. McDede | KALW

Holly J. McDede

Justice Reporter
Holly J. McDede

A few weeks ago, University Press Books in Berkeley announced it would shut for good after nearly 50 years in the business. Now, the remaining East Bay independent bookshops  are turning to the community to hold on. 

Julia Llinas Goodman / KALW

Since shelter in place began, health officials around the Bay Area have struggled to deal with packed parks and beaches. And then there are the crowds at Lake Merritt.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

There’s no end date for when it will be safe to gather in crowds again, so people around the world continue to stretch the possibilities of a Zoom call. Funerals, weddings, and church services have all been happening virtually. For one woman in Berkeley, the shelter-in-place order meant rethinking two very different rituals.

Joseph Mega

The novel coronavirus will not slow down the opioid epidemic that’s gripped the United States for decades. As the Bay Area shelters-in-place, a mobile health team in Contra Costa County continues to bring prescriptions for addiction medication directly to people who are homeless and even more isolated from services. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW

One population that’s especially vulnerable in this COVID-19 pandemic is people who are addicted to opioids. A medication known by the brand name Suboxone can help, but it can be difficult to access, especially for people who are homeless. In 2019, we reported on a dramatic increase in Fentanyl-related deaths in Contra Costa County, and one doctor who decided to bring the medication to the streets. 

Ninna Gaensler-Debbs / KALW

Because of the coronavirus, justice is moving more slowly in California. Jury trials have been suspended, and hearings have been delayed. But immigration courthouses are still open. In this interview, Francisco Ugarte, an immigration attorney with San Francisco’s Public Defender’s Office, speaks about how this pandemic has changed deportation hearings. 

Courtesy of Chesa Boudin

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has often described walking through steel gates to visit his parents in prison as a kid. Now a correctional officer who works at the prison in New York State where his father is in custody has tested positive for COVID-19.

San Francisco Sheriff's Department

San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju sounded the alarm about the coronavirus dangers inside the county’s jails weeks ago. He called for the immediate release of inmates who are at the end of the sentences, and the release of people at heightened risk for the virus, like those who are elderly, or who have lung disease or diabetes.

Paul Sullivan / Flikr Creative Commons

 


Measure D is a $90 million bond measure to repair and replace old fire stations in unincorporated parts of Alameda County. 

Erick Muniz / Flikr Creative Commons

Foster City residents behind the campaign to recall Councilmember Herb Perez say he’s “a bully.” Perez, who is an Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo, was first elected to City Council in 2011. 

Holly McDede

In this Audiograph, we head to the Bayview district, where 50 goats are hanging out at the City Grazing offices.

Alfonso Jimenez / Flikr Creative Commons

Every 15 hours, someone is taken to the San Francisco General Hospital after being hit by a car. That’s according to San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Heather Knight.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Chesa Boudin was elected San Francisco District Attorney earlier this month. But before taking that job, he was a public defender, and he learned how damaging it can be when people aren’t assigned lawyers right away. He founded the Pretrial Release Unit to bring public defenders to people faster.

Holly J. McDede

Fifty years ago today, indigenous people began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island to protest broken treaties and reclaim Native American heritage. Last month, Native American tribes celebrated the anniversary early with a canoe trip to the island. They gathered to honor both the history of the earth, and elders who fought to defend their place in it.

Courtesy of Chesa Boudin's campaign

San Francisco’s next top cop, Chesa Boudin, made his experience as a public defender and the son of incarcerated radicals the center of his campaign. And he told voters he would end racial disparities in the city’s criminal justice system.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

On Christmas Eve in 1975, Vicki Hennessy worked her first shift inside a San Francisco jail. Decades later, she went on to be elected San Francisco’s first female sheriff.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Nancy Tung is a longtime prosecutor running to be San Francisco’s next district attorney. She says San Francisco prosecutors need a leader who can make hard choices that aren’t necessarily politically popular. 

Courtesy of Suzy Loftus

The race for San Francisco’s District Attorney is proving to be one of the city’s most surprising races in recent memory. A few days before early voting opened this week, Mayor Breed appointed Suzy Loftus as interim DA.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Chesa Boudin is running to be San Francisco’s next District Attorney. Both of his parents were arrested when he was just fourteen months old. That began a lifetime of involvement in the justice system — first as a young person visiting his parents in prison, then as a public defender and advocate for reform. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Early voters in the San Francisco headed to the polls today. They’ll have the chance to choose the city’s next district attorney. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW

The battle over the right to access People’s Park in Berkeley began 50 years ago, but it never really ended. Now, UC Berkeley plans to develop the space into housing for students as well as homeless people.

Josh Edelson / AP Photos

African Americans are disproportionately arrested and prosecuted in San Francisco. District Attorney George Gascón is turning to artificial intelligence to keep bias from influencing prosecutors. But how much of a difference can this new tool actually make? 

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Contra Costa County jail officials are investigating a recent in custody death at the Martinez Detention Facility earlier this month. That inmate is the third person to die inside the jail so far this year.

Courtesy of Silicon Valley De-Bug

A San Jose based group called Silicon Valley Debug is on a mission to get family members into the courtroom as advocates. That organizing strategy is now spreading to “participatory defense” hubs around the country.

Eric Risberg / AP Images

The Oakland City Council voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology last week. The software is used by police around the country to find wanted suspects and find missing children. But civil liberties advocates say the technology can lead to wrongful arrests and convictions.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

After Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento police last year, state lawmakers proposed a bill to change the law around when officers can open fire. Activists rallied behind the bill. But when strictest stipulations of the bill were removed to win over law enforcement groups, some withdrew their support. Assembly Bill 392 has now passed the Senate Floor, and California's Governor is expected to sign it. 

Holly J. Mcdede

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would give inmates the option to be released during the day. The measure was introduced after Jessica St. Louis was found dead outside a BART station hours after being released from an Alameda County jail late at night last July. 

George Nikitin / AP Images

The First Offender Prostitution Program is like traffic school, except the goal is to educate people who have been arrested for soliciting prostitutes.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

Three years ago, Oakland adopted a policy to help people busted for marijuana crimes get into the legal market. Alphonso T. Blunt is the first equity applicant benefiting from this program with a dispensary open for business.

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country — and a booming gun industry. More than 1 million firearms were purchased in the state in in 2016, or roughly one gun for every 30 residents.

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