On Thursday morning, about 20 Oakland activists and community members gathered outside the Alameda County Administration Building before a meeting called by the Board of Supervisors to discuss conditions in the county jails.
On January 31, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian activist, turned 17 years old behind bars in an Israeli prison. Almost 8,000 miles away, in Oakland, Rania Salem, another 17-year-old Palestinian activist from San Francisco, joined a rally to celebrate Tamimi’s birthday and demand her release. Tamimi could face 10 years in prison after being charged with aggravated assault and 11 other charges. On December 18, a video of her slapping two Israeli soldiers went viral. That same day, her cousin Mohamed…
Fresh bread is baking in the oven. Feet shuffle swiftly along the kitchen floors. Chefs begin bagging and packing food to go. Two deliverers place big black boxes on carts to wheel to their vehicle. Inside each one are several neatly packaged white boxes filled with lunch orders. About seven people dance around the kitchen to assist them with the deliveries. Smooth 90’s R&B plays in the background while the staff works in unison. The chefs in this kitchen aren’t…
Last week, over 30 percent of the prisoners at the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland participated in a hunger strike to protest what they say are abusive conditions of isolation and poor healthcare in Alameda County jails.
In November, Californians passed Proposition 57 by a 64.5 percent vote. Formally known as the California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative, and strongly endorsed by Governor Jerry Brown, Oakland’s former mayor, the new law attempts to ease prison overcrowding by increasing parole opportunities for inmates and changing how juvenile offenders are charged. Now local and state agencies are grappling with the complexities of putting Proposition 57 into effect and debating the effects it will have…
Oakland’s City Attorney, Barbara J. Parker, has signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to grant immigrants, who are detained facing deportation proceedings, six-monthly bond hearings to assess whether their detention is justified.
For Carmen Garcia, the end of a prison sentence was the beginning of a new set of problems.
“The biggest obstacle for me was continuing to stay in school, because the halfway house wanted me to get a job right away, a full-time job,” she said. “And I remember a case manager said to me, ‘You need to take this job, whatever job they offer you, because now you have a criminal record and you’re not going to be able to get another job. Don’t worry about education, because that’s not going to help you.’”
Sandra Johnson needs a job, desperately. The formerly incarcerated 59-year-old Oakland woman is now a City College of San Francisco student, but needs to find work as well.
In June, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of establishing a new re-entry hiring program that aims to create 1,400 county job opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.