Books Not Bars

Learning From Our Mistakes Premiere

Jul 20, 2010


Sumayyah Waheed talks about the world premiere of Learning From Our Mistakes on KPFA Morning show.

Time to “learn from our mistakes”: new film on youth prisons

by Sumayyah Waheed
Jul 19, 2010


Ella Baker Center's new film highlights juvenile justice models that give kids a fighting chance to get back on track. Premieres Tuesday in Oakland.

A Missed Opportunity: Economic Recovery Should Start With the Prisons

by Zachary Norris
Sep 17, 2009


California is facing financial ruin. Its schools have been forced to make devastating cuts that could put a whole generation of children at a competitive disadvantage -- and at higher risk of turning to crime. By refusing sensible reforms to save money in our corrections system, more children may lose their health care, more teachers may be laid off, and more health and safety programs may be cut.

Activists and Lawmakers Roll Out 'People's Budget Fix'

by Josh Richman
Jul 30, 2009


California could save billions of dollars per year through sensible criminal justice reforms rather than by revoking aid to its neediest residents, activists and state lawmakers said Thursday.

California Youth Prison Reform Rising

by Seth Sandronsky
May 13, 2009


Toshi Priest joined other California mothers such as Sharon James of Merced and the Books Not Bars campaign of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, based in Oakland, for a press conference at the state Capitol on May 7. Speakers called for ending the policy of time-adds for youths (ages 14 to 25) in DJJ facilities. To this end, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Books Not Bars support passage of Assembly Bill 999 (AB 999), which she introduced February 27.

Juvenile Prison System Called Troubled Four Years After Consent Decree

by Denny Walsh
Nov 29, 2008


Since the state entered into a consent decree in November 2004 to improve conditions in its juvenile prisons, those conditions have not improved to any appreciable degree, according to Donald Specter of the Prison Law Office. And Alameda Superior Court Judge Judge Jon S. Tigar, who approved the consent decree, wrote in an Oct. 27 order that while remedial plans were developed as required, the state "has not complied with the deadlines in any of them."

Group Cheers Closure

by Scott Smith
Aug 01, 2008


Books Not Bars Pushes for Shutdown of Entire System at Closed DeWitt Facility

Books Not Bars marked the official closure Thursday of a Stockton-area youth prison by shouting outside the gates for a wholesale shutdown of the state's Division of Juvenile Justice.

Books Not Bars Lobbies Family Communications Bill at Capitol

Mar 10, 2008


Reporter Tim Lantz: "By letting kids call or write to their family, clergy and legal council in their own language, plus require the Department of Juvenile Justice to communicate better with families. Another bill called the Keeping Families Whole Act - is expected to amend laws which prevent parents behind bars from reuniting with their children after release..."
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It's the Law: Phoning home is a help for juveniles, counselors say

by Andy Furillo
Dec 30, 2007


Calls to and from family give the incarcerated incentive to behave

Huddled against the wall, an 18-year-old second-degree murderer named Jeffrey Stevenson crooked a telephone into his neck, barely talking, but staying in touch with the transmitted sounds of life on the outside.

Under Assembly Bill 1300, a new law lobbied by Books Not Bars and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was one of at least four telephone calls that Stevenson will get to make every month, regardless of his disciplinary status.


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