Organizations Mentioned in "Prisons In Crisis"

Back On Track   This program is a unique public/private reentry initiative led by San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and Goodwill Industries. First time drug offenders who participate in the program and successfully complete it have their charges dropped. the program provides participants with job training, educational opportunities, union-based apprenticeships, substance abuse classes, life skills, and child care.

California Correctional Peace Officers Association   This powerful union represents over 30,000 correctional officers working inside California's prisons and youth facilities. It also represents state parole agents who supervise prisoners after their release.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation   CDCR is the agency that runs the state prison system, which consists of 33 prisons and 55,000 employees. It oversees the incarceration of prisoners, parole supervision, and juvenile detention.

Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice   CJCJ was established to promote balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety. It produces research and policy studies and provides technical assistance and public education.

No Violence Alliance   NoVA is one of several innovative programs run by San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey with the goal of improving the life skills of prisoners and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. NoVA targets services to prisoners and ex-prisoners with violence in their past. Through its case management system, NoVa engages and encourages men and women to take control of their violent behavior through rehabilitation and group counseling sessions.

Office of the Federal Receiver   The receivership was established by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson. This ground-breaking arrangement strips California of its authority to oversee and manage prison medical care. The court found that the quality of care provided by the CDCR violated the 8th Amendment of the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison Fellowship Ministries   This faith-based organization was founded by ex-Watergate felon Charles Colson. It is now the largest prison ministry in the world and partners with thousands of churches and volunteers. Its mission is to assist prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families and to promote alternatives to incarceration, such as rehabilitation and reentry.

Prison Law Office   This public interest law firm represents prisoners and engages in class-action lawsuits challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. It is currently engaged in major litigation challenging the quality of medical, mental health, dental, and disability access care provided to prisoners in California.

Youth Law Center   A public interest law firm that works to protect children in the nation's foster care and juvenile justice systems. Its staff of attorneys brings litigation, educates the public on the rights of children, and advocates on behalf of children in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Prison Reform Organizations

American Friends Service Committee   This 90-year old organization founded by Quakers promotes alternatives to incarceration, educates the public, conducts research on criminal justice policies, and organizaes campaigns against the use of long-term isolation and the death penalty.

California Prison Focus   This activist organization advocates for the abolition of the California prisons system in its present condition and the shut-down of all Security Housing Units (SHU). It investigates and exposes abuses, neglect, long-term isolation, and inhumane conditions of incarceration.

Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice   CJCJ was established to promote balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety. It produces research and policy studies and provides technical assistance and public education.

Critical Resistance   This national grassroots organization is dedicated to ending the prison industrial complex and seeks to build an international abolitionist movement. Its goal is to create safe, healthy communities without reliance on prisons and punishment.

Ella Baker Center   A strategy and action center working to promote positive alternatives to violence and incarceration. Its Books Not Bars program engages in grassroots campaigns advocating the closure of California's youth detention facilities and replacing them with rehabilitation centers and community-based programs.

Grassroots Leadership   This non-profit is dedicated to progressive community organizing in the south. It promotes direct action to end social and economic oppression and to achieve justice and equality. Its major focus has been the abolition of for-profit private prisons.

Justice Policy Institute   JPI's mission is to end society's reliance on incarceration and to promote alternative solutions such as community-based rehabilitation and treatment programs. On its website, JPI publishes research studies on corrections, drug policy, gangs, juvenile justice, and racial disparities.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children   LSPC is an advocacy organization on behalf of incarcerated parents, children, family members, and people at risk for incarceration. One of its projects is All Of Us Or None, started by people who have been in prison. It fights discrimination against prisoners and is leading the Ban The Box campaign.

National Center on Institutions and Alternatives   NCIA provides individual care, concern, and treatment for those involved in the criminal justice system. It provides criminal justice services for defense attorneys, defendants facing sentencing, prisoners, and court systems. In addition to sentencing advocacy, NCIA provides capital case mitigation services, parole release advocacy, institutional designation and transfer, and release planning.

National Council on Crime and Delinquency   NCCD is the nation's oldest criminal justice research organization. Its goal is to reduce crime and delinquency through model legislation, working with elected officials, and promoting innovative alternatives.

National Employment Law Project   NELP promotes policies and programs that create jobs, strengthen upward mobility, enforce worker rights, and help unemployed workers. NELP has been a leader in the movement to restore fairness to the process of criminal background checks and remove unnecessary barriers to the employment of people with criminal records.

Prison Law Office   This public interest law firm represents prisoners and engages in class-action lawsuits challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. It is currently engaged in major litigation challenging the quality of medical, mental health, dental, and disability access care provided to prisoners in California.

Prison Policy Initiative   This non-profit, non-partisan organization documents the impact of mass incarceration on individuals and communities. It publishes innovative research papers on ways to improve criminal justice policy. It is best known for documenting the distortion in our democratic process caused by the Census Bureau counting people where they are confined, not where they come from.

Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities   RIPPD is a grassroots direct-action group that advocates on behalf of imprisoned people with disabilities. Its goal is to end discrimination against prisoners with mental disabilities, promote and improve humane mental health treatment and alternatives to incarceration, eliminate solitary confinement, and promote better training of corrections officers.

Sentencing Project   This non-profit engages in research and advocacy for prison reform. It works for the reform of unfair and ineffective criminal justice policies and promotes alternatives to incarceration. It publishes research papers on racial disparities, the war on drugs, women prisoners, and felony disenfranchisement.

Vera Institute of Justice   Vera advances criminal justice reform by using empirical data and evidence-based practices. It works with government officials and criminal justice professionals and assists them through needs assessments and developing cost-effective strategies. It publishes research papers on drug courts, reentry programs for prisoners, and sentencing reform.

Media Organizations

National Radio Project   This media outlet produces Making Contact, a weekly half-hour radio magazine/public affairs program that is nationally syndicated on 200 stations. Making Contact features in-depth reports, critical analyses, and speeches on political and social issues such as prison/police and race matters.

Thousand Kites   This is a community-based performance, web, video, and radio project centered on the U.S. prison system. It began as a hip-hop radio program in the Appalachias and brought hip-hop radio artists together with mountain musicians. It produces Calls from Home, featuring phone calls from prisoner families speaking to their incarcerated loved ones. Thousand Kites provides a public space for prisoners, corrections officials, ex-offenders, and concerned citizens and facilitates discussion and dialogue.

Reports and Memoranda

Federal Receiver Reports   A series of progress reports on the prison medical care system filed in federal district court by former federal receiver Robert Sillen and current federal receiver J. Clark Kelso.

Juvenile Justice Reform: Realigning Responsibilities   The Little Hoover Commission's report submitted in July 2008 criticizing the state of California's juvenile justice system. The report notes that nearly $1 billion is spent annually on 2,000 youth offenders, a sizeable investment which has produced few positive results (a 75 percent recidivism rate). The report recommends shutting down the Department of Juvenile Justice and turning all offenders over to the counties.

Meeting the Challenges of Rehabilitation in California's Prison and Parole System   This report was authored by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Rehabilitation Strike Team in December 2007. It makes recommendations on implementing some of the rehabilitation mandates contained in AB 900, the $7.5 billion prison construction legislation.

One in 100: Behind Bars in America   The Pew Center on the States issued a report in March 2008 expressing alarm at the upward trend of U.S. prison expansion with more than one in 100 adults now locked up. California is singled out as one of the worst case offenders among 13 states now devoting more than $1 billion a year in general funds to their corrections system.

Solving California's Corrections Crisis: Time Is Running Out   The Little Hoover Commission's report submitted in January 2007. A series of recommendations for solving the California prison crisis are presented in this document.

Special Review into In-Prison Substance Abuse Programs Managed by the California Department Of Corrections and Rehabilitation   A report issued by the State Inspector General's office highly critical of California's services for prisoners addicted to alcohol and drugs. The report called the program "a $1 billion failure." According to the report, some programs are so poorly operated that some of their graduates returned to prison at higher rates than offenders who never went through them at all.

Understanding California's Corrections   This report was authored by U.C. Irvine professor of criminology Joan Petersilia in May 2006. It provides a comprehensive overview of the major problems plaguing the California prison system—the enormous cost of running the prison system and the high recidivism rate. The report emphasizes the need to invest more resources in rehabilitation.


American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment, Sasha Abramsky, Beacon Press, Boston, 2007

Crazy In America: The Hidden Tragedy of Our Criminalized Mentally Ill, Mary Beth Pfeiffer, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2007

The Culture Of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things, Barry Glassner, Basic Books, New York, 1999

Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, Joseph T. Hallinan, Random House, New York, 2001

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2007

Governing Through Crime, Jonathan Simon, Oxford University Press, New York, 2007

Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis, Christian Parenti, Verso, New York, 1999

When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry, Joan Petersilia, Oxford University Press, New York, 2003