Cops & Courts

Criminal justice news

  

Donald Trump has nominated more than five times as many judges to the federal courts as Barack Obama had at this point in his Presidency.

Incidents of police misconduct here in the Bay Area and nationwide have fueled widespread public concern. That’s what inspired filmmaker Pete Nicks to make his documentary movie “The Force,” which is out right now.

FAMILY WATCH DOG

A federal judge declared Colorado’s sex-offender registry unconstitutional earlier this month, ruling that making sex-offenders' addresses, ages and photos accessible to the public is cruel and unusual punishment. Now, an effort to reform California’s own sex-offender registry is raising questions and concerns.

 

San Quentin Radio: Lockdown

Sep 14, 2017
Nigel Poor

A lockdown happens when correctional officers decide there is a threat to the safety and security of a prison. That might be a fight, an assault, or a race riot. So what's it like in a lockdown? 

In the new documentary The Force, an Oakland police officer tells new recruits, “I don’t want bad cops. Period. I don’t need them.” In the film, director Peter Nicks follows the Oakland Police Department over two years.

Native American judges are using traditional concepts of justice to restore their communities rather than punish offenders and send even more people to prison. The new documentary Tribal Justice highlights tribal courts that incorporate indigenous customs and beliefs into their justice systems.

Andy Bosselman

In the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the San Francisco Police Department may be preventing injection drug users from getting clean needles. That could violate the department’s own guidelines — and have deadly consequences.

"FRUSTRATION AND ANGER" BY CC FLIKR USER KEVIN JENCO, RESIZED AND RECROPPED.

Officials in Berkeley and San Francisco are bracing themselves for competing political rallies planned for this weekend.

BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

Police reform is a polarizing issue.

  

Native American judges are using traditional concepts of justice to restore their communities rather than punish offenders and send even more people to prison. The new documentary Tribal Justice highlights tribal courts that incorporate indigenous customs and beliefs into their justice systems.

Courtesy of 4&20 Blackbirds

 

African Americans are disproportionately incarcerated for marijuana charges. That’s true nationwide, and in Oakland, too.

CC FLICKR USER RUSSELL MONDY, RESIZED AND RECROPPED

The Oakland Police Department’s own investigation into the Bay Area police sexual exploitation scandal was “wholly inadequate” and “defective.”

  

Does the pretrial detention and bail bond system embolden predatory practices?

Sandy Valenciano/California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance

Even in sanctuary cities, undocumented immigrants aren’t always safe from being handed over to ICE agents. In fact, it's happened right here in the well-known sanctuary city of San Francisco.

CC Flickr user George Grinstead, resized and recropped

 

Throughout the prison system men are dying from incurable diseases. Sometimes these inmates are granted freedom through a program called Compassionate Release.

San Francisco Sherriff's Department / cropped and resized

All week long, we've been playing this sound and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

San Francisco Sheriff Department

 

Since the early 1960s, a big chunk of San Francisco’s criminal justice system has been living inside the Hall of Justice. With its faulty elevators and occasional flooding, the building already has a bad reputation for employees who work there.

 

Then there are the people who have no choice but to live there.

 

We’ll have a conversation with prison reform activist, Susan Burton, about her book Becoming Ms. Burton.  

Your Call: Jeff Sessions transforming the Department of Justice

Jun 1, 2017
Photo by Barry Bahler. Used under CC by US Department of Homeland Security


How is US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reshaping the Department of Justice and national policies?

Meet one of the jailhouse lawyers at San Quentin Prison

May 24, 2017
Nancy Mullane

 

You can’t practice law while serving time in prison, but at San Quentin, there are inmates who represent themselves and offer legal assistance to other inmates. You won’t find any of them with law degrees, but what you will find are men who have a passion for fighting for their freedom, and the freedom of their fellow inmates.

Cropped and reused from Wikimedia Commons: http://bit.ly/2oIWUnD

The murder rate across Bay Area cities has risen in the last two years, reflecting national trends. But, when a homicide happens in the city of Richmond, the chances that the assailant will be arrested are pretty low. In fact, the city has the second lowest clearance rates for homicides in the state of California. Why is that? And what’s being done about it?

Your Call: Neil Gorsuch's judicial philosophy

Mar 21, 2017

On the second day of Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing, we'll discuss his judicial record and philosophy, and what it tells us about how he might rule on the Supreme Court.

COURTESY OF JOSE ARTIGA

 

President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. Some mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

Liza Veale

 

Though we’re all understandably consumed by the news at the national level, the last election also came with consequences for the Bay Area locally—especially for the region’s ongoing housing crisis.

GEORGE GASCON TALK USF IMAGE BY FLIKR USER SHAWN, WITH CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.

 

If you can’t afford bail in this country, you get stuck in jail until your trial. Many have said it’s a system that's biased against the poor.

"2569" by flikr user Jeremy Brooks used under CC license. Resized and cropped.

 

There’s been a 45 percent increase in mental health-related calls to BART police since 2011. When officers don’t know what to do, they call Armando Sandoval.

HOLLY J. MCDEDE

When you think of school, you might not think of prison. But in 2014, approximately 47,600 young people in California actually attended school inside juvenile hall. Those schools are called “court schools.”

Live storytelling from San Quentin

Jan 2, 2017
Photo by Peter Merts

 

Today we have a rare opportunity to hear from the men in the San Quentin Wednesday Night Creative Writing Class, in a live storytelling event inside the prison's education center.

Photo by Holly McDede

When you think of the tools in a police officer’s toolkit, you probably think of devices like handcuffs, pepper spray, and stun guns. But there’s another device that you probably haven’t heard of. It’s called the WRAP. 

IMAGE COURTESY OF RASHIDAH GRINAGE, COALITION FOR POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

 

For years, activists have been pushing for a community-led police commission to keep tabs on the Oakland Police Department. The Department’s involvement in a recent sexual misconduct scandal has brought the need for increased oversight into sharp focus.

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