A conversation with the recently appointed leader of California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, fighting prostitution in Oakland by writing to the Johns, another in our series of Money Diaries, and local musician Jay Trainer.
Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown announced at a press conference that the prison emergency in California was over. The state had been under mandate by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population and improve medical care for inmates, and the Governor says California has spent billions of dollars to hire more staff to ensure that the system has excellent health care. So in January, Brown signed an executive order eliminating the emergency, and filed papers to terminate the federal oversight of the mental health system.
For the next few weeks, KALW News will be presenting stories from young people in Oakland, talking about their relationships with money. It’s part of a collaboration with the Oakland-based nonprofitGame Theory Academy, which works with low-income youth to improve their economic decision-making skills. Independent producer Lisa Morehouse worked with students at Game Theory Academy to record their experiences, in pieces we’re calling Money Diaries.
Street prostitution is a major problem in Oakland, but arrest rates have dropped by 37 percent from 2011 to 2012. Nevertheless, community members remain vigilant. In Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood, which includes some of the main trafficking corridors, residents are sick of the street scene. They’ve launched what’s called the Dear John Campaign to take on the street level sex trafficking that happens right outside their doors.