Nicole Jones


Nicole Jones joined KALW's Crosscurrents team in 2010 as a reporter covering criminal justice and public safety. Jones is an alum of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Time's online edition and The Bay Citizen

Nicole Jones / KALW News

Occupy brought the movement to San Quentin State Prison on Monday afternoon. Over 600 people peacefully assembled in front of the prison’s East gate to protest prison conditions. The San Quentin rally is just one of the 15 that took place as part of National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.

Jasna Hodzic/California Aggie/Courtesy

This week's criminal justice headlines.

How an infamous Berkeley human trafficking case fueled reform Advocates for increased prison terms say 10-year-old sex trafficking case changed conversation. (SF Public Press)

Photo Courtesy of CDCR

A spokesperson with California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has confirmed that an inmate on a hunger strike at Corcoran State Prison died on Feb. 2 after refusing food for four days.

Gomez began fasting to protest conditions in the Administration Segregation Unit at Corcoran. Over thirty inmates housed in the isolation unit at Corcoran had also been refusing food since January for the same reason. On Feb. 13, all inmates resumed eating, according to CDCR’s spokesperson Terry Thornton. 


A new bill is on the block would allow counties to use AB 109 funds to pay for out-of-state contracts to house inmates, similar to how the states currently contract with other states. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson and Senator Tony Strickland introduced the bill in hopes of giving counties more options for housing inmates sentenced to local jails. Jackson spoke with KALW’S Nicole Jones on why he thinks this is a smart move for overburdened counties.Al

Courtesy of

Criminal justice realignment is changing the way probation officers are managing offenders, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Motivational interviewing is reemerging in probation offices across the state as a tool to better prepare probationers for reentry. Studies show that motivational interviewing and other techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and positive client development will prevent inmates from becoming repeat offenders.

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Last January, an alternative custody program was made law in California. So far 10 women have been released early and by the end of the next year, the California Department of Corrections expects 500 women to be back in their communities. The goal? To thin out the state’s overcrowded prisons and to help reunite families. KALW’s Nicole Jones reports on how this early release program is rolling out one year later.

On a typical day at Brightworks, a private school in San Francisco’s Mission District, students are welding, listening to indie music, and writing novels. The school opened its doors last September with a simple goal: trust your kids more.

The total enrollment for Brightworks is 30 students. They range in age from six to 12 years old. Mackenzie Rose-Price is a teacher at Brightworks, but they don’t call her that at the school. Instead, she’s a “collaborator.”

Art can be extraordinary. It can convey beauty ... imagination  ... and wonder. For some artists, it can literally communicate what their words cannot.

In Oakland, artists with developmental disabilities find a place to express themselves at the Creative Growth Art Center. But budget cuts to county and state social service programs are making it harder for them to pursue their artistic visions.

KALW’s Nicole Jones reports.

TOM DI MARIA: That’s a big painting, Barry. What color are you painting right now?


The education of young people is increasingly, if not exclusively, coming from the internet. And a big part of it is from the website Wikipedia. The English-language version alone has more than three million entries. It’s consistently ranked as one of the most visited websites in the world, after Facebook and before Twitter. And in the last few years, Wikipedia has started spreading to college classrooms, but not without its share of controversies and concerns.