prison reform

Flowers on the Rock

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Follow Ai WeiWei on Instagram, and you'll see many photographs of flowers. The internationally renowned Chinese artist has a morning ritual of placing a bouquet of flowers into the basket of a bicycle locked outside his Beijing studio. It's a delicate protest, performed "every morning until I regain the right to travel freely," he explained via Twitter in November 2013, when he began the practice.Read more »

California's refusal to reduce its prison population is a sign of deeper problems

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California just doesn’t get it when it comes to criminal justice. We have among the highest incarceration rates in the world (just below Russia's, and about four times the European average); our prisons eat up far too much of our state budget; they are shamefully overcrowded, secretive, and inhumane; yet politicians from Gov. Jerry Brown on down refuse to show the courage or leadership to try a different approach. Read more »

Hungry for reform

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news@sfbg.com

Sitawa Jamaa is among the thousands of California inmates who, two years ago this summer, took part in the largest prison hunger strike in US history to protest harsh conditions and their invisibility to those outside prison walls.

Now, Jamaa and other prisoners are about to launch another hunger strike to highlight the system's unfulfilled promises and the persistence of inhumane conditions.Read more »