Assembly Bill 1270, passed by both chambers of the state legislature, would have allowed journalists to set up interviews with specific inmates in state prisons. Eight times over the past two decades a similar bill had passed through to the governor's desk, and all eight times it was vetoed.The stre ... More >>
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing to reassess the consequences of solitary confinement in prisons. The hearing opened with a video, playing testimony from a young woman whose 17-year-old brother committed suicide after ... More >>
You won't get Starbucks in solitary confinement Yesterday marked the first official day of the hunger strike taking place at eight prisons across the state, with as many as 4,000 inmates refusing state-issued meals. In response, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued a ... More >>
Would you be his Facebook friend?Prison is just that place where you have tons of time to kill (no pun intended) and not that many friends. So it makes sense that inmates in California prisons are finding creative ways to access Facebook and other social-networking sites. However, the state has c ... More >>
Maybe commuters should start protesting protesters What we learned from the BART protest earlier this week is that activists can bring commute traffic to a screeching halt. Which is why we are delivering this warning now: Duck out of work early today unless you want to get stuck in yet another pr ... More >>
The health conditions of inmates who are striking to protest conditions in the California state prison system's maximum-security units have "deteriorated to critical levels," and some prisoners could start to die if immediate action isn't taken, activists say.The strike began two weeks ago at the ... More >>
Gov. Brown is dumping prisoners in your hometown Last month, SF Weekly told readers about a Supreme Court decision to force California to cut its inmate population -- drastically. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown told the courts that he has the perfect plan in mind: Shift state prisoners to county jails.A ... More >>
Mass exodus in the making Supreme Court justice have backed an order to reduce California's prison population by 46,000, a move that some are calling a "judicial travesty."At the same time, the state's overcrowded prison population is creating "injury and harm" to the inmate population, which is ... More >>
10 percent of California's inmates are non-citizens.It's not a winning spot to brag about, but the Golden State is No.1 when it comes to incarcerating criminal immigrants. In fact, California is the only state to break the 100,000 mark. What's worse -- the state is shouldering the majority of the ... More >>
RJ ShaughnessyLil Wayne, perhaps the most commercially successful and critically-lauded rapper of the past few years, was recently granted a reprieve from his date with destiny. Due to be sentenced on February 9th after pleading guilty to gun possession, the proceedings have been delayed until Ma ... More >>
The crux of a Constitutional lawsuit...Last week we reported on a lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court by an octet of inmates charging they were being price-gouged at Pelican Bay prison in the far north of California. We noted that the e-filing of the case, sadly, didn't include the actua ... More >>
But no one loves pricey coffeeAs hard-liners say, "you do the crime, you do the time." But if you feel you're getting ripped off by paying too much for prison coffee -- to quote Doug Llewelyn, "You take 'em to court." Eight inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City in the far north of ... More >>
Be sure to wear a flower in your hairThis week has seen California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger scrounging for a few billion dollars beneath the sofa cushions after his stop-gap measures for narrowing the state's budget shortfall went down to defeat in Tuesday's special election. Among the consequence ... More >>
The New York Times ran an article yesterday about the Pew Charitable Trust report that says one out of 100 U.S. citizens is in the clink. Where does California figure into the picture? Well, at one time we were number one in imprisonment, but due to a dip in prison population, that honor goes to Te ... More >>
Imprisonment is part of the American experience. With the decline of farming, mining, and manufacturing, prisons represent a rare growth industry in the heartland: We have 2,304,270 and counting behind bars. District legislators legally count inmates as constituents, and use the Census to siphon fed ... More >>
Desperate prison lifers turn to Charles Carbone when trying to navigate the unfair process of parole denials
A liberal intellectual and a right-winger on Death Row discover they have much in common
Music and poetry, not plot, create A Place to Stand's emotional impact
Making phone calls from jail, Harley Mike allegedly helped three prisoners escape and conned parole agents, sheriff's deputies, and judges.
After Innocence probes life after a wrongful conviction
This Tennessee Williams production packs a punch, but it's too loud
Carandiru reveals the human side of Brazilian prisoners, then leads us to their slaughter
Albert Johnson was exonerated for a crime he didn't commit, but not before spending over a decade in prison. Why guiltless people get jailed -- and how to stop it.
The "asylums" depicted in The Magdalene Sisters undermine both the Catholic Church and the popular image of Ireland
Half a century ago, ex-heroin dealer Alfredo Santos created an epic work of art inside San Quentin. Now, he's coming back to be honored for it.
The prison guards' union angrily ripped the rug from under the governor in February
The Alcatraz Night Tour is fascinating and beautiful. Then it's cold and eerie. And then it's -- let's get outta here!
The first San Bruno Jail inmates to take part in an experimental meditation program say it has helped to free their minds, if nothing else
County Jail No. 3 is a hellhole. Can an ancient, intense form of meditation improve life for the inmates?
The rest of the country is re-appraising the death penalty; California sues to keep a minister from comforting those facing execution
Long-missing Alcatraz files make their way back to the Bay Area
New Way to Ease New Economy's Inflation Threat: Release Nonviolent Inmates
Mumia Abu-Jamal Changes Name, Urges Supporters to Expand Campaign
The state wants to deny religious counsel immediately before executions. But why?