CDCR

Photo by California Energy Commission

Arthur Streeter is taking me to meet an inmate who’s going to be released from jail today.

“So we’re going to pick him up and get something to eat,” Streeter tells me, “and then we’re going to go to an emergency shelter that he’ll stay at at International and East Oakland.”

He’s talking about Hayden Hindenburg, who’s been incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail for the last six months. Streeter is the program director for Operation My Hometown, and his job is to help Hindenburg get a good start outside prison walls.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Lawyers have an ethics code. Journalists have an ethics code. Architects do, too.

According to Ethical Standard 1.4 of the American Institute of Architects (AIA):  "Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors." 

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.

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.

California prison hunger strike continues

Jul 25, 2013

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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