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BREAKING NEWS: Newsom to Release 8,000 People from CA Prisons

The Chron reports: Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to announce that he will release approximately 8,000 people incarcerated inside California’s prison system, in a move that comes amid devastating coronavirus
covid-19 virus illustration

Triggers and Vulnerabilities: Why Prisons Are Uniquely Vulnerable to COVID-19 and What To Do About It

When I reviewed the causes and effects of the 2008 Financial Crisis for Cheap on Crime, I relied partly on a series of lectures given by Ben Bernanke, Director of the

Gov. Newsom, Please Release More Prisoners to Prevent CDCR from Becoming a Mass Grave

Dear Gov. Newsom, Many thanks for your tireless work on behalf of Californians in their hour of need. I can only imagine the multiple emergencies on your agenda and the

Are CA Prisons Really Less Crowded?

Hello, Dear Readers, It’s been a while since I updated this blog, and it’s time for an update as well as a substantive post. I am hard at work trying

Not Long Sentences or War on Drugs: Problem Is Prosecutorial Discretion

My colleague John Pfaff from Fordham (who is quoted extensively in Chapter 1 of Cheap on Crime) is an economist, and has tested the various explanations given for mass incarceration.

New Jails: If You Build It, They Will Come?

Yesterday’s interesting L.A. Times editorial addresses the plan to build a new jail in Los Angeles, which prison activists have been resisting for a long time. When I visited Los Angeles at

Plata/Coleman Sequel: We Can’t Release Inmates – We Need Their Labor!

If you’ve followed the litigation in Plata/Coleman from the mid-2000s forward, you probably think you’ve seen it all: the dawdling, the evasion maneuvers, the political blackmail. But today I have

Book Review: Mass Incarceration on Trial by Jonathan Simon

Hidden from sight and forgotten from mind, American prisons in the last forty years have been horrific Petri dishes for medical neglect, interpersonal cruelty, and unspeakable conditions. California, which incarcerates

New Bill Proposes Allowing Counties to Import/Export Inmates

One of the declared purposes of the Realignment was to benefit from the added rehabilitative value of doing time within one’s community, close to one’s family and social network, and

Rolling Back Realignment

Yesterday, Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez introduced AB 1449, also to be known as the Realignment Omnibus Act of 2014. The bill, if passed, would significantly regress the achievements of realignment