Op Eds

When you have an incarcerated loved one, you face your own kind of imprisonment. You are confined to paying exorbitant costs for phone calls, legal fees, food packages and travel for visits. You are sentenced to the same number of years as the one you love – only your prison term is served in...
Last November, Californians took a historic step forward in criminal justice reform by decisively passing Proposition 47, demonstrating widespread support for smart policies that improve public safety and end our punishment economy. ... But only a few months later and before Proposition 47 can be...
In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 109 into law. Realignment allowed people convicted of 500 "non-serious, non-violent and non-sex related" felonies to serve their sentences in county jail or in a supervised community release program. The idea was to help reduce the state's prison...
Imagine a teen confined alone in a cell in a juvenile detention facility for 23 hours a day. He eats all his meals there. He uses a metal toilet in the same cramped space. His only glimpse of the outside world is through a tiny window. Now imagine that he is left in these conditions for days on end...
Standing on the BART train platform last November on the morning of Black Friday, I could see the passengers inside the train as it entered the station. On another Black Friday, I might have been any one of those passengers taking BART into San Francisco to go shopping. But this was no ordinary...
How do we go from "hands up, don't shoot" and professional athletes donning "I can't breathe" T-shirts to concrete action that will begin to alter the odious statistic that black teen males are 21 times more likely to be shot by the police than their white peers? Zachary...
Local restorative-justice provider Community Works West’s Restorative Community Conferencing Program illustrates the powerful impact of non-punitive approaches to crime. There is a 15 percent recidivism rate for youth six months after completing Community Works West’s program, compared...
After Grant’s death, there were also protests, and similar demands were made. Mehserle was tried, convicted and found guilty. He served 11 months of his two-year sentence for killing Oscar Grant. Those calling for justice were left disappointed by his inadequate sentence. Most unsatisfying...
This week, most election coverage has focused on who to blame for the the huge losses suffered by Democrats and what the implications are for the gains made by Republicans, but one of the most significant moments of the midterms happened in California—the passage of Proposition 47. The...
Co-authored by Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance Earlier this week we celebrated Labor Day, which was established to celebrate workers and their contributions to the strength and prosperity of the country. We celebrate teachers, nurses, restaurant workers, firefighters...