Author Archives: Tommy Bryant

Jailing of mentally ill is a growing problem in California

By Tommy Bryant              Locking up the mentally ill in jails and prisons is a growing problem in California, a Los Angeles Times story reports. About 37 percent of the state’s inmates are mentally ill, said a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The spokesman noted that […]

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Republican National Convention Calls for Criminal Justice Reform

By Tommy Bryant         Criminal justice reform was the subject on the second day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). It featured a three-governor forum sponsored by the U.S. Justice Action Network and the GOPAC Education Fund. These three governors are “leading their states to reform a criminal justice system rife with overly […]

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San Quentin Nurse Heals One Inmate at a Time

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer Diabetes is a serious problem at San Quentin and Elina Appleton has made it her mission to help those affected. “Most inmates have no idea what the disease is or how it affects them until they start losing toes, feet, legs, kidneys, go blind, have heart attacks and/or strokes,” […]

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Law Enforcement is Divided Over Prop. 47’s Implementation

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer Many law enforcement personnel are resisting implementing Proposition 47, which reduced some drug felonies to misdemeanors, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). There is “a disappointing level of resistance,” the ACLU states in their report, as reported by Ben Poston in a Nov. 11 Los Angeles Times […]

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Soledad’s Veteran Service Office Assists Re-entry Inmates

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer The Veteran Service Office at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad is assisting incarcerated vets in obtaining benefits. Ed Munis had worked as a lobbyist for veterans’ issues in Sacramento before his incarceration. He was recruited by originator inmate Michael “Doc” Piper. With the warden’s approval, they started the Veteran […]

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Prop. 47 Results in Lower Recidivism for State

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer The effects of Prop. 47, now at the one-year anniversary point, are still being analyzed. Statistics are slowly trickling in about the effects Prop. 47 is having on jail and prison systems. Remarkably, Prop. 47 recidivism has been very low. “A prison return rate below 5 percent indicates that […]

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Prisoners Close to Parole Meeting Employers

By Tommy Bryant and Kevin D. Sawyer Twenty-five prisoners got an up-close look at employment opportunities they might encounter upon release from San Quentin during the prison’s second Employment Readiness Seminar. Thirteen businesses and organizations attended the December event that doubled as a Job Fair. As the evening began, there was a hint of nervousness from […]

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‘Poor Healthcare’ At Private Prisons

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer Problems in healthcare persist at the private prisons in California paid to house the state’s overflow population. According to medical receiver Clark Kelso, “Little progress has been made in resolving, much less improving,” medical care at seven private prisons housing 4,200 inmates. Kelso’s statement appeared in a report sent […]

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Death Penalty Support Continues to Decrease

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer America’s support for the death penalty dropped significantly in the last 20 years, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Capital punishment support dipped from 80 percent in 1994 to 61 percent this year, the poll reported on Oct. 15. Part of the reason is juries are less likely to […]

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New Bill Tackles ‘Grotesquely Long Sentences’

By Tommy Bryant Journalism Guild Writer Congress is working on what supporters call a long-overdue reform bill for federal prison sentencing. “Federal prisons are filled beyond capacity with people serving grotesquely long sentences,” Antonio Ginatta, US advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said in a news release. To counter effects of the “tough on crime” […]

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