Bringing together speakers from law enforcement, state government, advocacy and investigative journalism, this discussion will dig into the unintended consequences of California’s efforts to reduce the population of state prisons: overcrowded, violent and increasingly deadly conditions in its county jails.
In a joint investigative series this year, ProPublica and the Sacramento Bee have been reporting on what went wrong after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons. State officials approved sweeping reforms called “realignment” in 2011, shifting responsibility for thousands of offenders from state prisons to county jails.
While realignment brought relief to state prisons, jails have struggled to handle the influx of individuals charged with and incarcerated for more violent crimes. The problems are compounded by facilities ill-equipped to accommodate long sentences, short-handed staff, nonexistent oversight and mentally ill people who lack mental health resources. As a result, death rates are rising in markedly higher numbers.
At “Overcorrection: The Unintended Consequences of California Prison Reform,” Criminal Justice Center executive director Debbie Mukamal will moderate a conversation with: Vicki Hennessy, the sheriff of San Francisco; Jose Valle, community organizer with Silicon Valley De-Bug; reporters Jason Pohl of the Sacramento Bee and Ryan Gabrielson of ProPublica; and other invited guests
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