By appointing a reformer to replace the outgoing Xavier Becerra, Newsom has the chance to begin dismantling a sprawling, bloated system of prisons and jails that incarcerated nearly a quarter-million people as of 2018.
Jay Willis Jan 14, 2021
A new study suggests that if counties—rather than states—bear the cost of incarceration, they may be less likely to incarcerate people.
Joshua Vaughn Dec 09, 2020
On his first day in office, George Gascón said prosecutors will not seek bail starting Jan. 1, a win for criminal justice reformers.
Eliyahu Kamisher Dec 07, 2020
Los Angeles County, with the country’s largest jail system and largest local prosecutor office, is considered a crown jewel in a nationwide push for criminal justice reform.
Eliyahu Kamisher Nov 06, 2020
The LA County supervisors are poised to tackle a wide range of criminal justice reforms, including moving children and people struggling with mental health issues out of the criminal legal system, and redirecting millions of dollars away from law enforcement and back into communities.
Piper French Nov 05, 2020
The ballot initiative would have bloated prisons and jails in the state and undone important criminal legal reforms, advocates say.
Ray Levy Uyeda Nov 04, 2020
First-time state Senate candidate Jackie Fielder’s housing plans are geared toward government investment, while incumbent Scott Wiener’s plans have relied on the construction of market rate housing with some affordable units.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 03, 2020
Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, who seeks to represent South Central Los Angeles in the State Assembly, wants 'clean air, clean water, and clean food' for her constituents.
Jerry Iannelli Oct 29, 2020
Corporate backers of a group opposed to Proposition 21 don’t match the protective image it portrays. And a nonprofit that has contributed to supporters has been accused of financial improprieties.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Oct 28, 2020
The Board of Supervisors wields enormous power over a county government apparatus that includes the DA’s office, probation department, and sheriffs.
Piper French Oct 21, 2020
The ballot initiative, supported by police, corporations, and even big grocery chains, would use more taxpayer money to incarcerate people, rather than invest in other social services.
Ray Levy Uyeda Oct 08, 2020
Proposition 17 would allow people with felony convictions to cast ballots while they are on parole.
Kira Lerner Oct 06, 2020
States like California, New York, and Arizona have relied on prisoners to continue working, with little pay and in precarious conditions, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Eliyahu Kamisher Oct 05, 2020
Governor Newsom should sign the CRISES Act into law this week and invest in community partners who support people in crisis situations.
Asantewaa Boykin Sep 29, 2020
Late-stage donations to the Los Angeles DA race increase concerns about the influence of law enforcement money on politics.
Piper French Sep 24, 2020
Several recent killings have put the spotlight on the largest sheriff’s department in the U.S., but many of the LASD’s abuses go unseen, advocates say.
Piper French Sep 15, 2020
California just made it a tiny bit easier for formerly incarcerated people to become civilian firefighters. But the law still leaves many obstacles in their path.
Taewon Wilson and Candace Chavez-Wilson are part of a growing movement to end life without possibility of parole and other harsh sentences.
Mara Kardas-Nelson Aug 24, 2020
Incompetence and inaction by California’s leaders are driving illness and death inside the state’s prison system.
Adnan Khan Aug 05, 2020
A June report from the county’s independent judicial arm urges local government to reallocate law enforcement resources to social services.
Ella Fassler Jul 31, 2020
Housing rights activists in California are pushing for taxation of rich residents to help the hundreds of thousands of people who may be at risk of losing housing after COVID-19 eviction restrictions end.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 27, 2020
A new report finds that too many kids, particularly Black youth, continue to be held in dangerous juvenile detention facilities; California prison officials refused offers of free testing before and during San Quentin outbreak; and Gov. Gavin Newsom announces plans to release 8,000 incarcerated people.
Kelly Davis Jul 10, 2020
A new multimedia campaign seeks to amplify voices of people incarcerated in Maryland’s Prince George’s County Jail, a GEO Group stockholder sues the for-profit prison company over its ’woefully ineffective’ COVID-19 response, and widespread testing is turning up thousands of new infections.
Kelly Davis Jul 09, 2020
About 20 people in the prison’s Badger section have been on hunger strike for the past few days, three people incarcerated there say.
Kira Lerner Jul 01, 2020
Prisoners are reluctant to report when they’re feeling sick, because they know they’ll be sent to solitary confinement.
Juan Moreno Haines Jun 23, 2020
In October 2018, Marshall Miles died at the Sacramento County jail after struggling with deputies. His lawyers say a deposition scheduled for next month will force the sheriff to answer for the in-custody death.
Jerry Iannelli Jun 18, 2020
Calls to defund the police must also be accompanied with divesting power and discretion from judges.
Gina Clayton-Johnson Jun 17, 2020
Both incarcerated brothers are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19—and one has tested positive.
Chris Gelardi May 27, 2020
John Wesley Parratt Jr. was scheduled to appear before the parole board in July. After the novel coronavirus arrived in San Quentin State Prison, he feared for his health.
Juan Moreno Haines May 14, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom said he’s releasing thousands of prisoners. But that doesn’t necessarily include some of the state’s sickest patients.
Mara Kardas-Nelson May 11, 2020
Laid-off workers say they face insurmountable debt and homelessness if they have to pay back months of rent after the pandemic.
Supriya Yelimeli Apr 30, 2020
Elected officials need to stop making excuses for not getting unhoused people into hotel rooms.
Jonny Coleman Apr 24, 2020
With programming paused and prison jobs reduced, people inside will not be able to earn good-time credits and are cut off from a means of supporting themselves.
Juan Moreno Haines Apr 16, 2020
On the intersection of two public health crises: housing and COVID-19.
Jonny Coleman Apr 09, 2020
Bail will be set at $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felony offenses.
Kira Lerner Apr 06, 2020
Inconsistent rules nationwide mean some people are still registering and reporting in person despite public health directives meant to control COVID-19.
Dawn R. Wolfe Apr 03, 2020
Los Angeles County judges must move quickly to release a broad group of people in custody.
Alicia Virani Apr 02, 2020
Residents have been told to stay in their homes to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus—but little has been done to ensure they can afford to stay there, activists say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 31, 2020
We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.
James King Mar 30, 2020
The state Department of Corrections confirmed two staff cases of COVID-19. No prisoners have been confirmed to have the virus, the department said.
Kira Lerner Mar 20, 2020
How California, which is home to more than half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population, is addressing the needs of the unhoused.
Kira Lerner Mar 18, 2020
Sheriffs wield enormous power, and they can direct it in ways that will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect incarcerated people.
Activists are calling on the governor, district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 16, 2020
In California, a Vallejo detective and a Solano County prosecutor concealed exculpatory evidence from a man facing murder charges. They went on to face accusations of misconduct in other high-profile cases.
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Hannah Critchfield Jan 21, 2020
After two terms at the helm of the nation’s largest prosecutor office, Lacey has drawn pointed criticism from community advocates who say she is standing in the way of criminal justice reform.
Aaron Morrison Dec 12, 2019
Harris’s record as a prosecutor was representative of a politics of the past. The nation has moved on.
Lara Bazelon Dec 04, 2019
Some officers have recently boasted about breaking state law and collaborating with ICE, according to messages posted in the group and obtained by The Appeal.
Darwin BondGraham Nov 22, 2019
People held in courthouse cells were shackled for up to 15 hours a day, and some were unable to eat, change menstrual pads, or use the bathroom, advocates say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 19, 2019
Son of incarcerated parents, backed by Black Lives Matter co-founders, Boudin will be the next DA of San Francisco.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 09, 2019
Chesa Boudin is just 240 votes behind Suzy Loftus, even after local law enforcement spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat him.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 06, 2019
At least three women made police reports about Girls Do Porn in 2015, but recruiters continued to exploit women until the FBI stepped in last month.
Meg O'Connor Nov 04, 2019
Interim San Francisco D.A. Suzy Loftus claims to be a "progressive," but her long record as a prosecutor reveals an all-too-familiar path chosen by establishment-types who have little interest in disrupting the status quo.
Patrisse Cullors Nov 01, 2019
Ahead of the city’s district attorney election on Tuesday, the alleged baton beating last month of Dacari Spiers has renewed debate over police accountability.
Criminal case files from Oakland’s seminal Riders scandal were among documents shredded by the Alameda County Superior Court in 2015.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was elected on the promise of reforming the scandal-plagued sheriff’s department. But eight deputies now accuse Sheriff Villanueva of allowing a violent group, the Banditos, to thrive in his department's ranks.
Ali Winston Oct 10, 2019
Loftus led the San Francisco Police Commission through a bloody and turbulent era.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer intend to openly defy a 1975 state Supreme Court precedent that says law enforcement cannot intentionally discriminate against a person or group of people.
Kate Chatfield Oct 03, 2019
Miller's victim impact statement was centered in a recent '60 Minutes' segment on the Brock Turner case. But such statements do not heal victims, and Miller's unfavorable comparison of Turner's sentence to drug offenders only reinforces carceral logic.
Meaghan Ybos Sep 30, 2019
A narrow ruling on Brady lists ensures that protecting the police will continue to prevail over due process.
Kyle C. Barry Sep 18, 2019
California is one of only six states that allow staff in juvenile facilities to carry pepper spray. But LA’s coming ban is still facing pushback.
Charlotte West Sep 10, 2019
Advocates and homeless people are suing Sacramento County over its treatment of homeless—and the city responded by filing a lawsuit against seven men for being a ‘public nuisance.‘
Meg O'Connor Sep 04, 2019
Assemblymember Jim Cooper is pushing to roll back changes that have successfully reduced incarceration.
Jessica Pishko Aug 19, 2019
A new internal audit shows that officers disproportionately strike, tussle with, and draw guns on Black people but then fail to disclose the incidents in their reports.
Darwin BondGraham Aug 12, 2019
A federal lawsuit claims that Palo Alto, California, police falsely detained, arrested, and beat a gay Latinx man—then boasted about their brutality.
Last year, lawmakers repealed the felony murder rule, which allowed prosecutors to charge defendants with murders they didn‘t commit. Prosecutors are trying to overturn the new law, but AG Xavier Becerra believes that the reform should stand.
Darwin BondGraham Aug 05, 2019
In California, Texas and Florida, advocates sent letters to district attorneys, demanding that they refuse to work with officers with histories of misconduct.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 29, 2019
A California Superior Court ruling gives officers accused of misconduct access to investigator notes and files while cases are in progress.
Darwin BondGraham Jul 17, 2019
Since the state’s public safety realignment in 2011, sheriffs have used criminal legal reform as a scapegoat for their failure to maintain safe jails—and recent reporting has given county officials a free pass to make that excuse.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Jul 16, 2019
Advocates say Anthony Aceves’s death conforms with long-standing issues in the second-largest jail system in California.
Raven Rakia Jul 10, 2019
The police union’s newly elected vice president led the investigation into the shooting that cleared Officer William Gourley of any wrongdoing.
Darwin BondGraham Jun 21, 2019
A new report charges the Los Angeles DA with seeking the death penalty in unjust and harsh ways.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jun 19, 2019
Aylaliya Birru has served over four years in a California prison for assaulting her husband, who she said was physically abusive. A pardon from Governor Gavin Newsom is her last hope to stay in the U.S.
Aaron Morrison May 29, 2019
Newly released records show that task force members faced allegations of theft and questionable overtime, all under the watch of a commander later fired for lying as the misconduct was investigated.
Darwin BondGraham May 23, 2019
California’s expansive registry law forces people to pay for crimes they didn’t personally commit.
Kyle C. Barry May 13, 2019
Police union lawsuits delayed many local governments from complying with a new transparency law. In the meantime, some cities have destroyed files.
Darwin BondGraham Apr 17, 2019
Senate Bill 1437 virtually eliminated the ‘felony-murder rule,’ but district attorneys aren’t ready to let it go.
Jessica Pishko Mar 25, 2019
State bar organizations have the power to discipline prosecutors, but they studiously ignore bad behavior.
With Appeal senior staff reporter Aaron Morrison
Adam H. Johnson Mar 14, 2019
In 2009, Anaheim police shot and killed Theresa Smith’s son. A new California law promises police transparency, but her quest for answers faces a substantial cost.
Aaron Morrison Mar 13, 2019
Senate Bill 1421 requires law enforcement agencies to make public investigative records of officer-involved shootings and uses of force resulting in great bodily harm. But law enforcement unions argue that the law threatens the privacy of their members.
Darwin BondGraham Feb 20, 2019
William J. Richards was cleared in the death of his wife. But he says he was the victim of medical neglect while he was behind bars, which led to a cancer diagnosis becoming terminal. Now he's suing.
Erika Stallings Feb 19, 2019
Corcoran state prison has a history of abuse that includes forcing prisoners into ‘gladiator fights.’
Raven Rakia Feb 15, 2019
With Appeal contributor Darwin BondGraham
Adam H. Johnson Feb 14, 2019
California amended its felony murder law, which holds accomplices responsible for murder. But reform won’t reach a man sentenced to death in a deadly robbery—even though he was never accused of firing a shot.
Maura Ewing Feb 04, 2019
As Kamala Harris begins her presidential run, her move to block gender affirming surgery for an incarcerated transgender woman deserves scrutiny, especially as new cases highlighting the struggle for the rights of imprisoned trans women emerge.
Zoé Samudzi Jan 28, 2019
Los Angeles County’s jail system incarcerates tens of thousands of people at a multi-billion dollar cost. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration have had enough.
The departing governor has chosen to pardon immigrants whose past criminal offenses put them in danger of deportation.
Melissa Gira Grant Nov 29, 2018
In Santa Clara County, incarcerated people, and a former undersheriff challenging six-term sheriff Laurie Smith, have turned conditions of confinement into a potent electoral issue.
Victoria Law Oct 29, 2018
A lawsuit brought by a Compton resident detailing an alleged beating by deputies is just one of nearly three dozen federal civil rights lawsuits alleging brutality and racial bias at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Legislation in California would provide a direct route to resentencing, and a new tool for activists.
Kyle C. Barry Sep 07, 2018
A new lawsuit says Riverside County’s probation officers threaten to prosecute kids for ‘pre-delinquent’ behavior.
Carimah Townes Jul 10, 2018
San Francisco just became the first city in the nation to stop charging court fines and fees, but the rest of the state has a long way to go.
Teresa Mathew Jul 02, 2018
The judge who sentenced Brock Turner brought much-needed compassion to the bench, says public defender Sajid Khan.
Paul DeBenedetto Jun 11, 2018
By charging shoplifters with felonies, Jeff Reisig is circumventing Prop 47, intended to reduce CA prison populations.
Jessica Pishko Jun 04, 2018
Alameda County Superior Court reversed license suspensions for 54,000 people who were punished for their inability to pay fines.
Rebecca McCray Dec 04, 2017
Alameda and Santa Clara County jail detainees round out the first week of a hunger strike for better conditions.
Rebecca McCray Oct 20, 2017
The decision was unanimous.
Carimah Townes Sep 21, 2017
There are approximately 22,000 intravenous drug users in the city.
Carimah Townes Sep 08, 2017
District attorneys want to keep an outdated system alive.