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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

Cause of Death

Source here. Today I came across this sobering table, which struck me as important not only for the obvious reasons. You’ll note that homicide is nowhere in the top-ten list of

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

Body-Worn Cameras in Prison?

I just got off the phone with a person who is serving a long sentence in a CA prison (I will keep the person’s details to myself to preserve their

Distress Call: Suicide Rates in California Prisons

A couple of years ago, Michael Bien alerted us at his keynote speech at WSC to an alarming trend: mental illness was on the rise in CA prisons even as

CA Divests from Private Prisons: Realistic? A Good Thing?

Hailed, and partly for good reasons, as a positive development, the Guardian today announces: The private prison industry is set to be upended after California lawmakers passed a bill on

Assessing the Dangerousness of Redball Criminals: Two Israel Examples

My forthcoming book Yesterday’s Monsters examines the parole hearings of the Manson Family, who have been consistently denied parole for decades. A key issue in the book is the notoriety

Three Jail Guards Arrested in Santa Clara Jail Inmate Death

The shift of numerous inmates from state prisons to county jails has turned our attention to conditions in these local institutions. This morning’s news present a particularly tragic example: the

How the Media Talks About Prison Homicide: A Murder in Vacaville

A couple of months ago, news outlets reported a murder in California State Prison, Solano. The murder did not make headlines until yesterday, when it suddenly returned to the news

How Should People in Pretrial Detention Be Treated? And–a Primer on the “Reasonable Man”

Most issues reviewed on this blog that pertain to prison conditions are legally assessed under the Eighth Amendment‘s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore, one of the ways in