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.  

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9:22am

Thu July 17, 2014
Cops & Courts

Kids of incarcerated parents speak out

Family visits at the Alameda County Jail
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.”

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6:11pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Education

Oakland’s Skyline High community sings high praise for its principal

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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2:10pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Cops & Courts

Will prison arts programs make a comeback in California?

Eric Curtis reads his story aloud.
Kyung Jin Lee KALW

On a breezy summer day at San Quentin State Prison, inmate Paul Stauffer reads his writing to a live audience.

“My shoulders brush the sides of the wall and bunk as I pace the nine feet of my cell, between the sink and door. A scream echoed silently from my tortured soul, as hopeless dreams of a once meaningful life, floated endlessly across my mind…” he reads.

Creative self expression is a proven force for change in prisons. Inmates in this creative writing class, and classes like it, are less likely to commit crimes when they’re released.

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5:43pm

Wed February 5, 2014
Cops & Courts

Bay Area cities expand employment protections for ex-convicts

A job application asks about past convictions.
Flickr user: Waponi

When you fill out a job application, you expect to answer some basic questions. Things like your employment and education history, and relevant skills to the job. And in many cases, you also have to check a box to declare whether you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.

In the city of Richmond, though, that last one is no longer fair game. It hasn’t been for a couple of years, since the city passed an ordinance called “ban the box,” forbidding government employees from asking job applicants about their criminal histories.

More than 50 cities and counties, as well as 10 states, have enacted some form of “ban the box” laws. That includes California.

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5:54pm

Wed January 29, 2014

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