On an early October morning in 1990, Ralph Spinelli swung open the back door of a large restaurant as he shoved his other hand into the pocket of his lightweight windbreaker, pretending to hold a gun. He had eaten at the restaurant several times before and knew that the door was unlocked around that time for deliveries — it was his habit to notice the weaknesses of an establishment. The three workers in the restaurant stared at Spinelli in bewilderment…
In a meeting Monday night, community leaders from North Oakland met to discuss a pilot program that will tackle sentencing for young offenders. Alternative sentencing will divert offenders from the court system and a criminal record, and instead focus on mediated discussion between victims and offenders.
A photography and storytelling project shares the lives, now turned around, of 20 formerly incarcerated residents of Alameda County.
Assembly Bill 999, sponsored by Democrat Rob Bonta of Oakland, would have required the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop a five-year plan to offer condoms in all California prisons.
“My last trip in the penitentiary, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do with my life,” said Reggie Bailey, sitting in the swiveling barber chair in his small shop in the heart of downtown Oakland. “I just decided to go to barber college.”
On Saturday, over 20 people filed into the Ella Baker Center, just off Broadway in downtown Oakland, for a conference that gave former inmates, parents and family members of incarcerated young people a chance to tell their stories to each other.