California criminal justice

6:00pm

Wed August 13, 2014
Cops & Courts

Reentry: Two men seek employment after their release from prison

Taken at Wallenberg High School
Luisa Beck

A note to our readers: the names of formerly incarcerated men and their families in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

 

“My whole life, I never had a job.”

At the age of 51, William Bennett was one of the oldest people in California who could claim that. But in June 2013, eight months after leaving prison, that was about to change.

“Either Monday or Tuesday I’ll be working on the freeways,” he said. “580 or 880. Picking up trash. First job ever.”

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6:19pm

Wed November 13, 2013
Education

Serving up fewer suspensions and more interaction

Leila Day

Not long ago there was a food fight at Ralph Bunche High School. And Angel Hernandez is in trouble. He’s 18, a senior, and he’s not admitting anything happened. He’s slouched in his chair in a circle in a room whose walls are covered with positive messages: ‘Respect,’ ‘Listen,’ ‘Trust.’ His mom, Maria Ramirez, sits at his side. Also in the circle is the cafeteria worker Miss Mina, and she looks pretty ticked off. “Everybody starts throwing stuff,” she says. “I said excuse me, how old are you guys? You guys want to clean up my kitchen?”

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10:08pm

Thu August 15, 2013
Crosscurrents

Approaching juvenile crime head on

Sara Brooke Curtis

When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on.

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5:49pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Cops & Courts

Is prison necessary for change?

An inmate reads a story at San Quentin's creative writing class
Peter Merts

Earlier this month, students in Zoe Mullery’s creative writing class for San Quentin inmates held a reading of their work at the prison. The public was invited to the reading, and one of the audience members asked the inmates if they thought going to prison was the only way they could have changed their lives for the better.

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6:18pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Where do older prisoners go when they get out?

Frank Williams, SEOP Director

The older we get, the harder it is to think of ourselves as “old.” But as far as the government is concerned – specifically, the federal corrections system – you’re “aging” or “elderly” once you turn 50. California houses one of the country’s biggest populations of elderly prisoners. And gradually, it also releases them.

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