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Prison Education Aims to Help Inmates Re-enter Society

Posted December 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
PEP Founder/Director, Dr. Renford Reese speaks to inmates at the California Rehabilitation Center about the Prison Education Project.

As liberals and conservatives increasingly agree on a need to limit “mass incarceration,” the Obama administration has been trying to make it easier for prisoners to get an education. KCRW is exploring how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation handles inmate “re-entry.”
KCRW producer Jenny Hamel looked at one program behind bars that offers everything from basic English to college-level courses.
Calculus professor Jenny Switkes …

Issues, News, Politics »

Push begins to end statute of limitations for rape

Posted November 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

A state lawmaker is proposing a major change to rape laws in California.
Connie Leyva, a Democratic State Senator from Chino, says that when the legislature reconvenes in January she’ll introduce a bill to end the 10-year statute of limitations for rape and other sex crimes.
“A sexual predator should not be able to evade legal consequences in California for no other reason than the time …

Issues, News »

California inmate given OK for sex-change surgery

Posted August 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

California will be the first state in the nation to foot the bill for sex reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate.
The state agreed to the procedure after its own expert testified in a federal lawsuit that surgery was medically necessary to prevent Shiloh Quine from suffering depression and anxiety.
Quine has been in prison for more than three decades. She went in as Rodney Quine …

News »

State doesn’t want to pay for inmate’s gender change

Posted April 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The state of California will appeal an order to provide gender reassignment surgery to a convicted murderer serving a life term.
A judge on the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled earlier this month that denying the procedure to Michelle-Lael Norsworthy would violate her constitutional rights. Judge Jon Tigar said Norsworthy suffers from gender dysphoria – or dissatisfaction with her life …

News »

20th parole try is a charm for Chowchilla kidnapper

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

One of three men sentenced to life in prison for one of the most notorious kidnappings in California history is a step closer to freedom.
James Schoenfeld, his brother Richard, and Frederick Woods kidnapped 26 children and their bus driver from Chowchilla back in 1976. The trio planned to ransom the children for $5 million. They forced the captives into a moving van that was …

Issues, News »

California’s Death Row has just about run out of room

Posted March 30, 2015 by | 7 Comments | ]

More than 750 inmates in California have been condemned to death.
But no one in this state has been executed in nearly a decade – and with new inmates arriving every month, Death Row has just about run out of space.
Gov. Jerry Brown is asking the Legislature for more than $3 million to open 100 new cells for condemned men at San Quentin Prison. The …

Issues, News »

State ordered to make a plan for resuming executions

Posted February 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The last execution in California took place nearly a decade ago, and family members of some murder victims say that’s unacceptable. Now a judge is aiding their fight to resume executions – saying those family members have a right to try to force the state to fix its system for delivering lethal injections to condemned inmates.
Three years ago, Gov, Jerry Brown ordered state officials …

economy, Education, Issues, News, Sports, The Mixer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Locked up, then locked out

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

This week, the Federal Reserve Board kept interest rates low, and vowed to keep them low for a “considerable time.”
And then there was the wonky we could raise rates down the road if the economy starts moving faster stuff.
The job market, says the Fed, is affected by myriad happenings: An economy that’s still sluggish, and recovering from a Great Recession. An older population. Jobs …

California Elections, Commentary »

How do we put fewer Californians in prison? Other states are finding alternatives

Posted September 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Rennet Stowe/ CC/Flicrk

In 2009, overcrowding in California’s prisons had gotten so bad—140,000 inmates crammed into prisons built to house just 80,000—that federal judges ruled it violated prisoners’ civil rights. Under order to reduce the state’s prison population, Governor Brown introduced realignment in 2011, a plan to send nonviolent inmates to county jails and probation departments rather than prison.
This year, a federal court gave California two more …

Issues, News, Politics »

Cracking back at a cocaine sentencing disparity

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

The state Legislature has approved a law that would reduce sentences for crack cocaine to the same levels as powder cocaine.
The law addresses concerns that unbalanced cocaine sentencing laws punish low-income communities and minorities. It comes four years after President Barack Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which eliminated 100-1 disparities in sentences for crack and powdered cocaine convictions.
Crack cocaine is considerably cheaper than …

Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Vote to decide if Golden Gate Bridge gets suicide nets

Posted June 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

Bay Area officials will vote today on a $76 million plan to install suicide prevention nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. The agency that operates the bridge has previously rejected the idea of raising the railings to prevent suicides – arguing that it would drastically change the character of the 77-year-old landmark. But the suicides continue to add up. A record 46 people jumped …

economy, Education, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

L.A. moves to impose $15 wage for hotel workers

Posted June 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

Activists have cleared a major hurdle in their effort to boost the wages of non-unionized L.A. hotel workers. Despite warnings from business groups that the move could cost jobs, a City Council committee signed off on a plan to increase hotel worker pay to more than $15 an hour, nearly twice the state’s $8-an-hour minimum wage. Labor groups say L.A. hotels have been raking …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Griffith Park mountain lion sickened by rat poison

Posted April 17, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

A mountain known as P-22 that’s been making its home in Griffith Park is suffering from mange, which biologists attribute to exposure to rat poison. The cat appeared strong and healthy when it was photographed by a National Geographic photographer a few months ago. But remote cameras recently captured images of the animal looking sickly. Scientists sedated the big cat and drew blood samples. …

economy, Education, Environment, Food, Issues, News, Politics »

Garcetti to give first State of the City speech tonight

Posted April 10, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver his first State of the City speech tonight, offering a preview of how Los Angeles will deal will projected $242 million budget deficit and laying out his spending priorities for the next fiscal year. (Listen at at 5pm).
His speech comes one day after the release of a report that makes a number of recommendations for improving what its authors …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Officers faulted for shooting during Dorner manhunt

Posted February 5, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]

More than half a dozen LAPD officers who mistakenly shot at two women delivering newspapers during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner are facing discipline that could range from a slap on the wrist to dismissal. The department’s oversight panel says the officers violated LAPD policy when they collectively fired their weapons more than 100 times. One of the women was shot twice in the …

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Food, Issues, News, Sports »

Scientists attack ‘false’ reports of Fukushima radiation

Posted January 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

There is no risk on the West Coast from radiation released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago – and there never was. That’s the word from state scientists in California. They’ve released a strongly-worded statement to dispel worries stemming from new on-line videos that claim California beaches are being inundated with radiation from the Japanese nuclear accident. State officials say radiation levels …

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Food, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

L.A. County due hundreds of millions in lead paint suit

Posted December 17, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

Three paint companies have been ordered to pay $1.1 billion to California cities and counties for selling lead-based products they knew were harmful to children. After a five-week trial in Santa Clara County, a judge found that Sherman Williams Conagra Grocery Products and NL Industries left a toxic legacy by knowingly marketing products that caused serious health problems. The money would be paid into …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

It’s checkup time for state’s new healthcare exchange

Posted November 21, 2013 by | 4 Comments | ]

Californians will get their most detailed look today at how the state’s new health insurance marketplace is shaping up. Covered California is set to release data about the kinds of plans people are buying, their age and income, and other demographic information. Insurers say it’s crucial that the pool includes a wide range of people. Younger, healthier policy holders are needed to offset the …

Education, Food, Issues, News, Politics »

Miramonte teacher agrees to 25-year prison term

Posted November 15, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt repeated the phrase “no contest” 23 times in an L.A. courtroom this morning, agreeing to a plea deal that will send him to prison for 25 years. Berndt, who is 62, fed children his semen in a scandal that rocked the school district.  LAUSD has already agreed to pay nearly $30 million to settle lawsuits and claims …

Education, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Deasy may walk away from LAUSD early next year

Posted October 25, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

Will he stay or will he go? L.A. School Superintendent won’t confirm an L.A. Times report that he plans to leave his job in February – but he’s not denying it either. Deasy promises he’ll have more to say after his job evaluation, which is scheduled for Tuesday. Deasy was hired to head the nation’s second largest school district in 2011. He had threatened …

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