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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5:07pm

Thu November 13, 2014
Arts & Culture

Brothers in Pen: Creative writing from San Quentin

The Brothers in Pen creative writing class at San Quentin. Photo courtesy of Peter Merts

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.

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5:20pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Cops & Courts

What does it take to be a cop in Oakland?

Officer Nicholas Ramos gets his new badge from his father.
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.

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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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