Mon April 29, 2013
Cops & Courts

Walking death row at San Quentin State Prison

East Block of San Quentin State Prison, where death row inmates are housed
Nancy Mullane

San Quentin State Prison has four massive cell blocks, each identified by their cardinal direction: north, south, east, and west. Of the four, only one houses inmates sentenced to death. None of the cell blocks have been visited by a reporter since 2007.

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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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Mon March 11, 2013
Cops & Courts

Dispatches from the Inside: Expectations, regulations and the realities of parole


As a prisoner, I am often reminded that the CDCR requires me to follow its rules. That’s understandable, rules and regulations ensure that operations run safely and smoothly. When an inmate can’t or won’t follow the rules, negative consequences are triggered to urge him or her to do so in the future. But what happens when the CDCR doesn’t follow its own rules? Where are the negative consequences to them? Apparently there are none. But there are negative consequences to inmates, and to the community, when the Department of Corrections can’t follow its own rules. Let me explain.

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Wed January 2, 2013

The search for redemption: an ex-con's perspective

Don Cronk
courtesy of

Between 2000 and 2009, 57,000 men and women convicted of murder were released from state and federal prison.

By the time convicted murderers are released, they’ve usually served decades behind bars; they’re a generation older than when they went to prison. When they come out, they often fade from view – no sensational headlines, no fanfare.  They make their way on the outside in a world that’s can be very different from the one they left.

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Wed December 26, 2012
Life After Murder

How can someone who murders re-enter society?

A conversation with Nancy Mullane, author of Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption.  We’ll also speak with Jesse Reed, one of the men she profiles in her book.  The California state parole board only approved parole for 10 percent of murder cases last year.  Governor Jerry Brown then approved 80% of those.  So what does it take to be released?  And how should those who have killed re-integrate in society?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.


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