Since 2012, an unprecedented uprising by motley bands of vigilantes has put the Knights Templar drug organization on the run. Fueling the movement are thousands of migrants who lived in California and other U.S. states before returning to Mexico.
At California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, inmates can be held in isolation for years for involvement with violent prison gangs. Some have been confined under a policy that allows tattoos, drawings and books as evidence of an affiliation.
For some families, seeing an image of their incarcerated relative for the first time in years has sparked renewed hope and revived dormant family connections. For others, the photographs are a shocking reminder of the length of time some inmates have been held in isolation.
In Sacramento, lawmakers will delve into a growing national controversy over special security units like Pelican Bay's that are used to isolate thousands of inmates from the regular prison population. Civil rights groups say long-term isolation amounts to torture, while state corrections officials say the units are necessary and the conditions are humane.
As California struggles to meet a court-ordered reduction of its prison population, new figures show officials overstated the number of low-level offenders eligible to be diverted to local jurisdictions as part of a public safety realignment plan.
California corrections officials are moving forward with a plan for handling prison gangs and other violent groups, including changing rules that have kept some inmates locked in isolation units for decades. But some prisoner rights advocates and experts worry it will do little to improve stark conditions.
Until recently, California state prisons were so packed that inmates were living literally on top of each other. In May 2011, the Supreme Court ordered California to drastically reduce its inmate population.
Under court order to ease prison overcrowding, California shifted responsibility for thousands of felons to local counties. Since then, the state inmate population has dropped dramatically. But there's a growing disparity over how realignment is affecting counties.
Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova tells CIR about her experience filming undercover for “The Price of Sex,” a documentary about young Eastern European women who have been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse.
On NPR's "Morning Edition": Some 400 people with developmental disabilities live at Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, Calif.. And while minor scratches and bruises are not uncommon for these patients, over the years, the center has seen scores of serious injuries and even deaths.
This week, officials in Mendocino County, Northern California, are expected to pull the plug on an unusual program that put pot growing under supervision of the local sheriff. It was the first effort of its kind in the nation and proved a success, at least in the eyes of many locals. But federal prosecutors took a different view.
Mendocino County’s ambitious effort to regulate marijuana production – the first of its kind in California and the nation – is facing growing uncertainty following new threats of legal action by federal prosecutors.
A crackdown by federal prosecutors is casting a long shadow over the state’s marijuana industry, but there is one bright spot, at least for some Northern California growers willing to risk prison time: Wholesale prices appear to be on the rise.
Federal prosecutors are preparing to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that advertise medical marijuana dispensaries in California, another escalation in the Obama administration's newly invigorated war against the state's pot industry.
A European Union panel has agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to probe allegations of organ trafficking and other abuses linked to former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, including current prime minister, Hashim Thaci.
In the history of the Council of Europe, no committee report has garnered as many media hits as Dick Marty’s inquiry titled “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.”