Hunger Strike Ends but Isolation Continues in California Prisons
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After three weeks, the hunger strike in California prisons is over, but it reached 6600 inmates at 13 institutions, and some prisoners showed signs of early starvation. But much is still unknown, because reporters were not allowed to talk to the strikers. Federal judges have ruled that state prison conditions violate the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Did settling the hunger strike make things any better? Also, if you get a red-light camera ticket in Los Angeles, throw it away. What about other cities? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, mass murder in Norway and the spread of multiculturalism.
Banner image: A California Department of Corrections officer speaks to inmates at Chino State Prison. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Preparing to Flip the Off Switch on Red Light Cameras ()
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Gruel says LA's red-light cameras are a waste of money. But the City Council's Chief Legislative Analyst says just shutting the program down would mean less revenue. A Council committee has now split the baby by saying the program will be gradually phased out. In the meantime, drivers who get those tickets — pictures and all — should just throw them out. Ari Bloomekatz covers transportation for the Los Angeles Times.
- Ari Bloomekatz: Los Angeles Times
Human Rights in the Hidden World of State Prisons ()
On July 1, inmates at the Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border began a hunger strike that ultimately involved 6600 prisoners in 13 of California's 33 institutions. Reporters were not allowed to talk to inmates, but representatives said they demanded caps to be worn in cold weather, calendars on cell walls, more lenient treatment in solitary confinement, and a change in "debriefings" that last so long prisoners are in danger of being labeled as "snitches." The hunger strike is over, but did settling it make things any better?
- Scott Kernan: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
- Nancy Kincaid: California Prison Health Care Services
- Hector Villagra: ACLU of Southern California, @HectorSoCalACLU
Governor Brown Signs California Dream Act ()
In Washington and in Sacramento, so-called Dream Acts are designed to help high-school graduates who were brought to the US at an early age and whose lack of documentation stops them in their tracks, even though they may have succeeded in school. There has not been progress in Washington but, yesterday in Sacramento, Governor Brown signed a bill he said would promote "a more inclusive California and a more educated California." But there's a catch. This Dream Act only gives easier access to privately funded educational aid. State Senator Gil Cedillo, Democrat of Los Angeles, is the author.
- Gil Cedillo: California State Senator (D-22nd District)
Islamophobia Turns into Mass Murder in Norway ()
The death toll from last week's bombing and shootings in Norway is now said to be 76 and the names of the victims are being released. Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted to the atrocities, is in solitary confinement and his lawyer says he's "insane." But he's not alone in concern about the impact of immigration. We hear about the reaction to multiculturalism in Norway, other countries in Europe and the United States.
- Tomm Kristiansen: NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Tore Bjorgo: Norwegian Police University College
- Joerg Forbrig: German Marshall Fund
- Scott Shane: New York Times, @ScottShaneNYT
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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