In The News

Read the latest coverage of our work in the media, as well as the opinion pieces written by our team. 

Out of prison and out of work: Jobs out of reach for former inmates

Former inmates often face enormous challenges finding work after they've been released: not only have many of them been out of the workforce for years, but often their criminal record prevents them from even getting their foot in the door in the first place. A recent survey by the Ella Baker... Read More

Bernie Sanders’s criminal justice blindspot: Why his bill to ban private prisons doesn’t go nearly far enough

Azadeh Zohrabi is the national campaigner for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a non-profit organization in Oakland that advocates for racial and economic justice and which also co-authored the report, and while she supports Sanders’s bill, she thinks it’s only a first step... Read More

An Interview With a Former Inmate

Young is a community organizer at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights , a non-profit that advocates for decreasing prison spending and lowering incarceration rates. He hopes to see the released receive the support they need to find jobs and housing. We talked with Young about the challenges... Read More

The U.S. Government Just Ended One of the Worst Abuses of the Prison-Industrial Complex

A 2014 report from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Forward Together and Research Action Design found a host of other information about fees accumulated in prison: 48% of families surveyed were unable to afford the costs associated with conviction. That number rose to 58% among families... Read More

Drummond: Race and income gaps in California's restaurant industry

Earlier this week, ROC announced plans for a pilot program to train minorities for jobs in Oakland's booming restaurant industry and to help them develop their own food service businesses. The CHOW institute is modeled after programs in New York, Detroit and New Orleans. It will be housed at... Read More

Prisoners' Families Organize to Resist Incarceration and Its Costs

In September 2015, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Forward Together and Research Action Design released " Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families ." The report, which includes interviews, surveys and focus groups with formerly incarcerated people and family members in... Read More

Meet the Women Who Created #BlackLivesMatter

I'm actually the truth and reinvestment director at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which is located in Oakland, California. My passion is really about looking at the impacts of policing on black communities in particular as well as the impacts incarceration has on black communities. I... Read More

Drummond: Oakland group vies for $500,000 Google Impact Challenge grant

Meanwhile, a September report released by the Ella Baker Center For Human Rights in partnership with other community organizations around the country, including Essie Justice Group, found that financial burdens disproportionately fell on women who had children living at home. Nearly half of family... Read More

Sheriff's Department defends proposed expansion of Santa Rita

But some community based organizations say they oppose the plan, calling it a waste of money that could be better spent on mental health programs outside jail throughout the county. "It doesn't change conditions or the type of mental health treatment people receive inside," said Tash... Read More

Alameda County seeking funds to expand mental health services at Santa Rita Jail

"Poor people shouldn't have to go to jail to receive critical programs, and with pretrial diversion projects already in the works, this jail plan would be a contradiction to that," said Ella Baker advocate Tash Nguyen. "If we can lower our pretrial population, that would free up... Read More