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OPINION
September 9, 2012
Re "Pedal empowerment," Column One, Sept. 6 How much would it cost to get Brazilian Judge Jose Henrique Mallman, who started a program in which inmates can reduce their prison terms by riding bikes to charge batteries that power boardwalk lamps, up here to revamp our archaic criminal justice system? The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We can no longer afford this dubious first-place trophy, nor can we afford the human wreckage left behind by convicts who have served their time.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014 | By August Brown
Pussy Riot may no longer be a formal band , but the activists will still make a high-profile appearance at a Brooklyn music venue next month. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear alongside the Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill and many others for Amnesty International's  Bringing Human Rights Home event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Feb. 5. "We are happy to support Amnesty International's work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners," Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said in a statement.
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WORLD
September 5, 2012 | By Vincent Bevins, Los Angeles Times
SANTA RITA DO SAPUCAI, Brazil - Muscular young men in red jumpsuits hunch over a set of matching stationary bicycles, sweating and panting. A few more wait to take over when the first group is too tired to go on. They keep the wheels turning nonstop, eight hours a day, seven days a week. They aren't a cycling team training for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in nearby Rio de Janeiro. They are a group of convicts riding for their freedom. The bikes are hooked up to portable batteries, which light up the humble boardwalk along this small country town's river each night.
OPINION
July 26, 2013 | By Pat Nolan and Chuck DeVore
When liberals expand the reach and cost of government, we conservatives label them "knee-jerk. " However, conservatives have shown themselves to be enthusiastically knee-jerk in one area: criminal justice spending. For more than 40 years, conservatives have blindly supported a vast expansion of criminal laws and appropriated billions of dollars for new prisons to hold the inmates convicted under those laws. Now, the weight of those costs is sinking California's budget, siphoning off dollars that could go to schools, roads, hospitals or tax cuts.
WORLD
May 19, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Japan's upper house approved a law to improve notoriously harsh prison conditions, giving inmates more contact with the outside world. The legislation, approved by the more powerful lower house last month, is expected to replace the 1908 Prison Law next year. The change follows a high-profile 2002 case in which a 43-year-old inmate died at central Japan's Nagoya Prison after guards allegedly assaulted him. Human rights activists say Japanese prisons violate U.N. conventions against torture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1998
Two significant prison reform programs were adopted by the state Legislature in the waning hours of the 1998 session and now are before Gov. Pete Wilson for his signature. One is a $177-million package that includes expanded drug treatment in the prison system and several programs designed to cut the alarming number of inmates who return to prison after being on parole.
OPINION
August 10, 2006
Re "What I saw behind bars," Current, Aug. 6 Ex-convict Pat Nolan wrote as though these inmates were born in prisons, or that there were no public schools for them to attend when they were kids. Perhaps life in prisons should be made so dismal, painful and difficult that the actual experience would serve to deter more than just false hopes of rehabilitation of the inmates. Why not use fear to protect the law-abiding instead of the other way around? Criminals should be punished, literally, from the time they're incarcerated until they are released.
OPINION
January 30, 2003
Prison reform seems to make sense to every rational person except our governor ("Correctional System Needs Correcting," Commentary, Jan. 26). You'd think that the ever-expanding budget gap would compel him to seek out cost-saving alternatives, but instead he proposes even more spending on corrections. It's no big secret that Gov. Gray Davis has been made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn., which surely has a lot to show for its money in the way its budget was largely spared by the administration.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Gov. Rick Perry replaced the chairman of the state's juvenile prisons board Wednesday over a report that the agency covered up sex abuse of inmates, but lawmakers demanded bigger changes. The Texas Senate held a rare evening session and approved a resolution urging Perry to overhaul the Texas Youth Commission by replacing the seven-member board and the executive director with an independent administrator who could investigate and fire employees who covered up abuse.
NEWS
April 6, 1989 | ERIC MALNIC, Times Staff Writer
Lawrence Pope, whose anger at being eased out of a job at a bank led him to start robbing them instead and whose lack of success at that led him to become an inmate prison reformer, has died in Texas at the age of 70. For the last six years, the soft-spoken, grandfatherly Pope was a familiar figure in the legislative and bureaucratic halls of the Lone Star State, where he was known for his untiring efforts to upgrade the Texas Department of Corrections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2013 | By Paige St. John
The stabbing death of a woman who attempted to take photographs of the homeless on Hollywood's Walk of Fame is being seized by a potential candidate for governor -- even if the crime doesn't fit his campaign. Abel Maldonado, championing a ballot initiative to roll back Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment program, on Thursday circulated material asking for money to "stand against Brown and his dangerous policies. " The solicitation cites the alleged killer of Christine Calderon, stabbed to death June 18 after she refused to pay a group of homeless men for a photograph she had snapped of them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Chris Megerian and Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Escalating a dispute with the courts over California's troubled prison system, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday fired back at federal judges who threatened to hold him in contempt, vowing to "litigate until the Supreme Court tells us that we're not on the right track. " The governor, the target of a scathing ruling Thursday that gave him three weeks to file a plan for meeting a court-ordered cap on the prison population, said he cannot remove thousands more convicts from California lockups without a spike in crime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Assembly Democrats continued Tuesday to bat down legislation they see as weakening Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment program, including a bill that would return sex offenders who violate parole to state prison. "We are tweaking a flawed program," said Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona), whose bill mirrored a similar measure already voted down by the Public Safety Committee that would have allowed judges to return to prison sex offenders who violate parole. "I do think it's a little early in the game.
WORLD
December 19, 2012 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - A riot and foiled prison break late Tuesday in the drug gang-infested state of Durango left at least 23 people dead, including 14 inmates and nine guards, after prisoners attacked their captors with rocks and then firearms. The state-run prison in the central Mexican city of Gomez Palacio made headlines in the summer of 2010 when the warden at the time was jailed after inmates were allowed to borrow guns from guards. Those inmates also were allowed to leave the prison at night and committed killings while they were out, federal authorities alleged at the time.
OPINION
September 9, 2012
Re "Pedal empowerment," Column One, Sept. 6 How much would it cost to get Brazilian Judge Jose Henrique Mallman, who started a program in which inmates can reduce their prison terms by riding bikes to charge batteries that power boardwalk lamps, up here to revamp our archaic criminal justice system? The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We can no longer afford this dubious first-place trophy, nor can we afford the human wreckage left behind by convicts who have served their time.
WORLD
September 5, 2012 | By Vincent Bevins, Los Angeles Times
SANTA RITA DO SAPUCAI, Brazil - Muscular young men in red jumpsuits hunch over a set of matching stationary bicycles, sweating and panting. A few more wait to take over when the first group is too tired to go on. They keep the wheels turning nonstop, eight hours a day, seven days a week. They aren't a cycling team training for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in nearby Rio de Janeiro. They are a group of convicts riding for their freedom. The bikes are hooked up to portable batteries, which light up the humble boardwalk along this small country town's river each night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2005 | George Skelton, George Skelton writes Monday and Thursday. Reach him at george.skelton@latimes.com.
Sen. Gloria Romero has been called a "hug-a-thug" because she crusades for prison reform. Actually, a thug on parole once kidnapped and threatened to kill her. Romero (D-Los Angeles) had just exited a McDonald's drive-through in Highland Park after ordering a cheeseburger Happy Meal, she vividly recalls. "An arm came in and I felt a piece of metal at my temple. It was a gun. I remember his saying, 'Give me all your money or I'll blow your head off.' " She had only $12.
NATIONAL
August 15, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
At age 69, Betty Smithey learned that sometimes you really do get a second chance. On Monday, the nation's longest-serving female inmate used a cane to walk carefully out the front gates of an Arizona state prison, where she had spent 49 years for the 1963 murder of a child. The reason: A parole board decided that after nearly half a century behind bars, she wasn't the same troubled person who had strangled a 15-month-old baby. And for the first time in several tries, a sitting governor agreed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2012 | By Timothy M. Phelps, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Watergate felon and prison reformer Charles W. Colson, who died Saturday at age 80 in northern Virginia, was two people. He was Richard Nixon's "hatchet man," the president's "evil genius," who by his own admission was "ruthless in getting things done" in the Watergate years, when the things that he and others in the White House were getting done would become a national disgrace and send Colson to prison. And he was a born-again Christian, the founder of the world's largest prison ministry, an "unfailingly kind but tremendously courageous" intellectual leader who became the "William F. Buckley" of the evangelical movement.
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