Even After a Decade of Reforms, California’s Era of Mass Incarceration Is Far From Over

The State's Progress in Reducing Prison Populations and Racial Disparities Is Real. So Are the Remaining Challenges

Over the past decade, California has made real progress in reforming its criminal justice system and reducing its prison population, but the state’s era of mass incarceration is far from over.

That was the conclusion of a leading researcher on California prisons, UC Berkeley public policy professor Steven Raphael, at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event “Has California Ended Mass Incarceration?” co-presented with UC Center Sacramento.

“We can objectively say no, just by the numbers,” Raphael said when moderator Abbie VanSickle, the California reporter for The Marshall Project, directly posed the title question …

Don’t Tear Down L.A.’s Notorious Men’s Central Jail  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Don’t Tear Down L.A.’s Notorious Men’s Central Jail 

Transforming the Facility Into a Museum and Democracy Center Would Allow California to Remember Its Carceral Cruelty—And Create a Different Future

One of California’s most notorious jails could close in 2021. But if the state truly wants to leave its carceral history in the past and create a more open and …

Can Criminals Be Genetically Determined?

Just Five Percent of Families Commit Half of All U.S. Crimes. Is It Bad Genes, Bad Family Values, or Both?

When veteran New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield first met the Bogle family, he believed that nurture mattered more than nature in influencing people to commit violent crimes.

But how, …

Why I’m Still Talking About My Incarceration as an American Japanese

The Pain of Remembering Is Deep, But the Danger in Forgetting Is Far Worse

I am a member of a once despised minority group, American Japanese, who spent three and a half years incarcerated in an American concentration camp during World War II. …