CDCR

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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11:55am

Thu August 15, 2013
Cops & Courts

East Bay Express: State to send more inmates to fungal-infected prisons

The deadly disease lies dormant during dry summers in Central California, but it comes alive when the rains arrive in fall. Causing flu-like symptoms, it goes airborne, with spores that root in the soft tissue of your lungs. Californians have a higher chance of contracting the disease than chickenpox, hepatitis, or West Nile virus, according to the health care news organization Reporting on Health. The fungal infection known as valley fever also has a preference for people of certain ethnic backgrounds. In the prisons of California's Central Valley, about 70 percent of the victims have been African-American.

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5:35pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Cops & Courts

California prison hunger strike continues

Tensions remain high in the California prison system. A hunger strike that started two and a half weeks ago is ongoing, with more than 700 inmates in ten state prisons still refusing to eat. The strikers are demanding reforms to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s policy of keeping inmates housed in security housing units indeterminately. Supporters say more than 3,000 inmates are currently stuck in there indefinitely – many have been in the SHU for decades – because there is no clear policy on how to get out.

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10:46am

Wed May 1, 2013
Cops & Courts

Dispatches from the Inside: An interview with inmate Richard Gilliam

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

For over a year, inmate Richard Gilliam has regularly sent us dispatches from prison as part of our Dispatches from the Inside series, to give us a lens into the prison infrastructure housing about 120,000 people in California. During this time, Gilliam has told us about the arbitrary nature of enforcement of the rules, race relations, and watching a cell mate wait too long for critical health care.

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5:00pm

Mon April 22, 2013
Cops & Courts

Behind the walls of California's most restricted cells

SHU hallway to cell pod.
Nancy Mullane

This story was the first of a six-part series following Nancy Mullane in her efforts to increase media access to prisons. It first aired in October 2012. It begins seven hours north of San Francisco in Crescent City and Pelican Bay State Prison. That’s where more than 1,100 of the inmates considered the most dangerous and influential in the state are locked up in the state’s Security Housing Unit also known as the SHU.

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