Author Archives: Kevin D. Sawyer

Police Harassment of Blacks Higher Than for Other Minorities

By Kevin D. Sawyer In a recent poll, Blacks reported being harassed by police at a higher percentage than reported by Asians, Hispanics and Whites, according to The Associated Press (AP). “Two-thirds of young African-Americans and 4 in 10 Hispanics say that they or someone they know has experienced violence or harassment at the hands […]

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Jail and Prison Collect Phone Calls on the Rise Despite FCC Rate Cap

By Kevin D. Sawyer The cost of collect telephone calls made from jails and prisons is on the rise, in spite of a recent rate cap imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to the International Business Times (IBT). “In my 16 years as a regulator, this is the clearest, most egregious case of […]

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New Technologies Cut Profits for Private Communication Companies

By Kevin D. Sawyer As new technology emerges and inmates’ collect and prepaid telephone calls become less profitable, companies are looking to other communication services to increase profit, Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) reported. “The promise of these new services is often tempered by a relentless focus on turning incarcerated people and their families into revenue […]

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Student-run Newspaper Drops In on Inmate-run Newspaper

By Kevin D. Sawyer Several students and faculty from The Pioneer, California State University East Bay’s (CSUEB) student-run newspaper, visited San Quentin State Prison and its media center last month. The visit allowed the aspiring student-journalists, along with CSUEB staff, to have a first-hand look at the prison and its newsroom, where the inmate-run San […]

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Potential Employers Interview Inmates for Brighter Futures

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor A group of inmates who will be looking for employment opportunities once they parole got a head start at San Quentin’s third Employment Readiness Seminar (ERS). A panel of 18 women and men from the outside representing employers, trade unions, apprenticeship programs and other organizations attended the event held […]

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Steve McNamara Helped to Resurrect San Quentin News

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor Steve McNamara is one of the principal advisers who brought the San Quentin News back to life in 2008 after it had been dormant for more than 20 years. Together, McNamara and his colleagues took on the unusual mission of training a handful of prisoners to run a newspaper. […]

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Test May Explain Racially Biased Police Shootings

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor “Uncontrolled prejudice” may explain why White police officers shoot young Black men so often, according to an article published in Mother Jones magazine. The conclusion is based on the Implicit Association Test (IAT). It is designed to measure racial prejudice that people cannot consciously control, and 51 percent of […]

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CDCR Losing Battle in Disrupting Cell Phones in Prisons

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor The state’s prison system is losing its battle to disrupt cell phone use by inmates in its 34 facilities, The Associated Press reported. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has so far failed in its attempt to block cellphone signals in the prisons, AP said. Because of […]

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PPI Research Shows Population Fluctuation

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor Many sources say America locks up some 2.3 million people in its jails and prisons on any given day, but that’s not the whole story. According to Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) research, “The Whole Pie 2015,” there are more than 2.3 million people confined in various institutions throughout the […]

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Distance Determines if Prisoners Receive Visits

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor Research indicates prisoners who are visited by family and friends are less likely to return to incarceration. Distance plays a major role in why many prisoners’ visits are infrequent and in many cases why others do not receive visits at all, according to Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) research. The […]

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