Kyung Jin Lee

Reporter/Producer

Kyung Jin Lee is a criminal justice reporter for KALW News. Her stories have taken her through the trails of the Golden Gate Park to the streets of Occupy Oakland and the suburban backroads of Castro Valley.

Kyung Jin is also a general assignment contributor for KQED News. Her work has been featured on San Francisco Public Press and the East Bay Express. She holds a M.S. degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.  

Kyung Jin Lee

Sixty-eight-year-old Oscar James stands on a hill overlooking the old Hunters Point Shipyard. He points out a street that’s now closed off by a chain-link fence. That’s where his family lived on a street once called Navy Road. There’s a striking view of the bay side of the peninsula.

“All that dirt, see it behind the lab, the road?” he asks. “From that road all the way back used to be water.”

When we think of prison, most of us don’t think of it as a place where people go to get an education or to learn how to express themselves. But the arts have been part of the California prison system since 1977. Even though state funding for these programs was completely cut in 2003, nonprofits have kept some of the programs alive. One of those programs is Brothers in Pen--a creative writing class for San Quentin inmates, taught by Zoe Mullery.

Kyung Jin Lee / KALW

After years of struggle, the Oakland Police Department is finally getting some positive news. Crime rates are down in all major categories, including murder, robberies, and burglaries. And they’re getting closer than ever to meeting federally mandated reforms from more than a decade ago.

Daniel Arauz via Flickr

More than 2 million children across the country have at least one parent behind bars. Sixteen-year-old Kmani Baxter is one of them.

“It didn’t dawn on me that it had been 13 years since I seen him,” says Baxter. “I ain’t hug my dad since I was three or four. I haven’t touched my dad since I was four years old.”

Between classes, the five-minute passing periods at Skyline High are a little chaotic. Students are abuzz. Teachers, counselors and guards herd the teens to their classes.

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