criminal justice

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jun 23, 2015
(Courtesy of League of Women Voters)

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Report: African-American Adults Seven Times As Likely As Whites To Be Arrested in San Francisco // KQED

thisiscriminal.com

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

On the November 6th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. One in every 15 people in the United States is expected to go to jail or prison, and for  black men, the number increases to one in three. How can we generate empathy both for people who have committed crimes and compassion for victims? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guest:

Flickr user andersdenkend

The shooting at Seattle Pacific University marks the latest gun-related tragedy in the U.S. It follows the attacks in Isla Vista at UC Santa Barbara. The country is talking about whether or not to require treatment for the severely mentally ill. In California, this has been an ongoing conversation, ever since the creation of Laura’s Law.

Behavioral health courts can give offenders who are mentally ill the option to be tried for non-felony crimes. Within the program, offenders can have access to not only the district attorney and public defender, but to several social services programs in order to help them get them back on their feet. 

One catch — they have to want to be in the program. 

Life of the Law:  "School DisciplineAs the number of law enforcement officers on school campuses has gone up, so have the number of arrests. This month the Obama Administration issued recommendations for alternative forms of discipline -- but as the story of Kyle Thompson demonstrates, in the real world of schools, the issues are tricky.

Rachael Voorhees / BY-NC-SA

I grew up in a middle-class, suburban county in New Jersey, but now I'm a twenty-something intern living in a low-income part of Washington, D.C. The realtor euphemism for such neighborhoods is “transitional,” a word that implies ongoing change. This is ironic because I feel that so many of the residents here feel as though things will never change, and will always stay the same. Since moving here, I've already become accustomed to the wail of sirens, the disconcerting, yet reassuring pulse of blue and red light through the heavy bars on my windows.

When we think of policing, we don’t always think about psychology. One is academic; the other, relentlessly real-world. But many police departments, including San Francisco’s, assign patrols based on a psychological theory: The Broken Windows Theory.

Photo courtesy of: Paige Kaneb

It's the early 90s. Young people are watching MTV, their parents Twin Peaks. Maurice Caldwell is 22 years old and lives in the Alemany projects in Bernal Heights, on the same streets where he grew up. He works in an industrial warehouse in Hayward and likes to hang out with his friends.

But, he admits today, he was also a troublemaker. “I wasn't a choir boy,” says Caldwell. “I sold drugs, from time to time.” And, from time to time, he’d come in contact with police.

Photo by Rina Palta

If you’re convicted of committing a felony in California, you can end up in many kinds of prisons. Steal a lot of money in a Ponzi scheme – you might end up in minimum security. Locked up, but with little supervision. Commit a violent crime, and you could be sent to a medium-security prison, like Folsom. Kill someone, and you could be headed for supermax.