Author Archives: Michael Cooke

Self-Restraint And Self-Discipline During Ramadan

By Michael Cooke Journalism Guild Writer For Muslims the observance of Ramadan is the most holy time of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of both contemplation and celebration. Ramadan is the once-a-year opportunity for Muslims all over the world to rebuild, rejuvenate and renew their faith. It is the time of the year […]

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Hijos de Padres Encarcelados Muestran Problemas de Comportamiento

Por Michael Cooke Escritor del gremio Periodistico Un estudio universitario concluye que los hijos de padres encarcelados muestran problemas de comportamiento y salud mental. “Estos niños están cargados de desventajas,” dijo Kristin Turney, autor del estudio y profesora asistente de sociología en la Universidad Irving de California. “Estos niños no solo están lidiando con el […]

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‘Curly Joe’ Inspires Others to Change

By Micheal Cooke The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation knows him as inmate James L. Burrell, #C34144. However, around San Quentin’s Vocational Machine Shop (VMS) program, he was affectionately known as “Curly Joe,” a curmudgeonly, gruff-acting inmate with a hidden heart of gold. Curly Joe paroled last February after being incarcerated for nearly 33 […]

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State Audit Slams How Mentally Ill Can Acquire Guns

By Micheal Cooke An audit conducted by the Bureau of State Audits last October slammed the California Department of Justice and the courts for failing to identify thousands of mentally ill people who shouldn’t have access to firearms, reported the Sacramento Bee. The audit revealed that 34 out of 58 county Superior Courts failed to […]

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Department of Justice Focuses On Improving Criminal Justice

By Micheal Cooke The U.S. Department of Justice has conducted a review of the criminal justice system to identify reforms needed to ensure the uniform application of federal laws for the 21st century. This project identified five goals: The devotion of finite resources to the most important law enforcement priorities. To promote even-handed law enforcement […]

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SoVoSo Entertain Prisoners in San Quentin’s Catholic Chapel

By Micheal Cooke The nationally touring acappella ensemble SoVoSo brought its unique improvisational style to San Quentin’s Catholic Chapel on Sunday, June 22. The group’s name is a derivative of “from the Soul to Voice to Song.” They describe themselves as vocalists who “imitate musical instruments.” Group members: drums (Dave), bass (Brian), lead guitar (Zoe), […]

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Santa Monica Violence Prompts Focus on New Vocational Programs

By Micheal Cooke The shooting deaths of seven people last summer prompted the Santa Monica City Council to consider a plan for a new youth vocational training program focused on school dropouts and unemployed 16 to 24-year olds, reports the Santa Monica Lookout. If the Council decides to fund the $239,668 program, it would assist […]

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Critics Worry Realignment May Be Counter-Productive

By Micheal Cooke The centerpiece of the state’s prison reduction effort is Assembly Bill 109, also known as “Realignment,” which shifts some inmates from prisons to county jails. Proponents of the law insist the goal of realignment is to reduce recidivism among the state’s prison population. Opponents worry that realignment might actually prove counterproductive in […]

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Richmond City Passes New ‘Ban-the-Box’ Law, 6 to 1

Micheal Cooke A law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants to disclose their criminal background during any point in the hiring process was passed, 6-1, by the Richmond City Council recently. It is among the nation’s most comprehensive “ban-the-box” laws, according to an article in the Huffington Post. The “box” in question is the place […]

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DNA Testing Exonerated 18 Death Row Prisoners

They Served A Total of 229 Years By Micheal Cooke DNA testing has exonerated 18 people previously on Death Rows in 11 states, according to the Innocence Project. They served a total of 229 years, including 202 years on Death Row, for crimes they didn’t commit. Here are the cases cited by the project: Kirk […]

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