From the Capitol to the courtrooms, prosecutors can chart a new path on public safety in California by championing at both local and state levels one of the biggest ways we can transform our justice system in this generation--sentencing reform.
Unfortunately, rehabilitation (the adult word for "learning a lesson") is often not at the heart of criminal justice reform. In fact, the harshness of a punishment is frequently not determined by the possibility of recidivism, but rather by public opinion.
Today, Niroga conducts over 100 yoga classes a week in 40 sites throughout the Bay Area, serving over 5,000 children, youth, and adults annually, in mainstream and alternative schools, juvenile halls and jails, rehab centers, and cancer hospitals.
While many employers can agree on the justice objective of hiring returning citizens generally, the legislative specifics are very important to avoid the kinds of problems that Marion Barry's proposed legislation on ex-offenders presented.
Greenwald believes that the involvement of so many successful professionals on the Second Chance Board reflects their common commitment to helping others find it within themselves to get up and go to work, and to providing them a chance to do just that.
The rundown building is surrounded by barbed wire. Inside, kids sleep in narrow locked cells, no different from what you'd find in an adult jail. They are subjected to strip searches and attend an hour or two of "school" in a crowded room filled with a random selection of books.
Every year state and federal prisons release more than 650,000 people, a population equal to that of Seattle or Boston. Rather than providing the means for a successful transition, many states and the federal government hurl prisoners out into the world with little or no support.
This past Sunday, the state of Georgia took a bold step in reforming its criminal justice system. The state implemented a package of new laws establishing alternatives to incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenders.
The objective of building a massive prison system didn't include mechanisms that would encourage prisoners to work toward earning freedom, to redeem themselves, or to prepare for a return to society as law-abiding citizens.