Cockrell, Cathy

Cathy Cockrell is a writer for the UC Berkeley News Center. She lives in Oakland.

Why Do We Tolerate a Massive Prison System That Produces 70% Recidivism Rates?

cathymugshot.jpgby Cathy Cockrell
In Part 1 of this two-part Q&A, UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon talked about criminal sentencing and parole as practiced today in California. He concludes here by discussing the social and fiscal impacts of our approach to crime and punishment, the current opportunity for prison reform, and some ideas for meaningful change.

Q. California’s budget crisis, together with the federal judiciary concern about California prison overcrowding, have focused critical attention on the state’s massive penal system. In light of these developments, what are the prospects for meaningful reform?

Why Parole Does Not Work in California

cathymugshot.jpgby Cathy Cockrell

California’s criminal justice system was thrust into the national spotlight recently after the shooting deaths of four Oakland police officers by a recently released state prisoner. In this two-part Q&A, the NewsCenter speaks with UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon about a system he has studied since the 1980s. The associate dean of the campus’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program, Simon is the author of two books — Poor Discipline and Governing Through Crime — each of which received a distinguished book award from the American Sociological Association.

Q. Four policemen and an ex-prisoner died recently in a bloody shooting in Oakland. What does this incident tell us about our criminal-justice system?