Conference, we started covering the then-in-progress litigation in Plata v. Schwarzenegger, which this year became Brown v. Plata. We provided a full analysis of the Supreme Court decision here and here.
This year was a momentous occasion in California corrections. The state is struggling to comply with the Plata decision and is behind schedule. It has also been a momentous year in terms of humonetarianism (the practice of leniency and moderation in corrections initiated by budgetary cuts). Humonetarian discourse is characterized by a bipartisan focus on costs and financial prudence as a reason to promote criminal justice reform. To battle overcrowding as well as comply with Plata, the state is actively pursuing realignment, shifting inmates from state prisons to county jails, thus ending what Frank Zimring refers to as the "correctional free lunch" (county sentencing, state budget). Different counties are adjusting to the change in different ways, and realignment has important implications for juvenile offenders and for female inmates. Oh, and we followed several legislation initiatives: Prop 19, "control, regulate and tax marijuana", which failed at the ballot, and the San Francisco sit/lie ordinance, which passed. We've just started covering this year's crop, complete with a death penalty abolition proposition, a proposition to amend Three Strikes, and SB9.
We also occasionally looked beyond the California border. This year we examined out-of-state incarceration in Hawai'i, CCA's complicity in the passage of deplorable SB1070 in Arizona, some other fresh Arizona horrors, and we tried to stop the upcoming execution of probably-innocent Troy Davis in Georgia.
Some of the biggest news are occurring this summer. The inmates at Pelican Bay started a hunger strike in July, protesting their dubious profiling as gang members and cruel isolation confinement conditions. They will renew their hunger strike as of September 26 and need your support. Vigils are planned for Thursdays at 5-7pm, in the following locations:
- Sep. 29th: 14th & Broadway, OAK
- Oct. 6th: UN Plaza, SF
- Oct 13th: 24th&Mission, SF
- Oct. 20th: Fruitvale, OAK
Also, Prison Focus will be holding a special event about the strike at UC Hastings, which we will advertise separately.
Finally, we covered a much-hoped-for release of three innocent men, rogue meth-dealing motorcyclist professors, and the distressing news that statistical analysis suggests that the victim participation law did not increase victim participation.
The CCC blog thanks you for your continued support and readership. Please continue reading us, writing to us, following us on Facebook and Twitter, and keeping abreast of the impact of the financial crisis on the American and Californian correctional landscape. What we are is up to you!