Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012–exactly one month ago. Yet outrage over the tragedy is just hitting its peak in the news cycle. Why didn’t the media, public officials, and the FBI care about this issue sooner?
CNN took up that question over the weekend. According to CNN’s Howard Kurtz, “it took a few days for the major Florida papers to cover that news. And it wasn’t until 10 days later that the killings drew a bit of national media attention from the A.P. and Reuters, The Huffington Post, and CBS This Morning. Then a bit more coverage, BET, HLN, CNN, Good Morning America. And then nearly three weeks had passed before the first article in New York Times.”
By Nicole Jones
What does it mean to be a transgendered person in prison? A collection of writings on queer, transgender and prison politics shed light on these two populations and their struggles.
Released last fall, the book Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex brings together stories and poems from current and former prisoners, activists, and academics looking at how race, gender and sexuality are experienced when a person is incarcerated.
“The history of trans and queer people in the United States is also a history of incarceration and the struggles against incarceration,” co-editor Eric A. Stanley said Thursday night during an event celebrating the book at Mills College in Oakland.
Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad is accused of sexual assault.
Yesterday, in San Francisco’s Superior Court, a judge heard motions in the case of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi is accused of domestic violence, in the wake of a fight with his wife on New Year’s Eve that prosecutors say got physical.
Mirkarimi’s not the only one having trouble in his new job. A number of local criminal justice officials are on rocky ground in the Bay Area. I sat down with KALW’s Holly Kernan to discuss these and other happenings in the public safety world.
By Nicole Jones
Occupy brought the movement to San Quentin State Prison on Monday afternoon. Over 600 people peacefully assembled in front of the prison’s East gate to protest prison conditions. The San Quentin rally is just one of the 15 that took place as part of National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.
On a stage outside of the prison gate, people spoke about the impacts of imprisonment for people behind bars and their communities. The protesters called for a number of reforms, including the end to the death penalty in California, the three strikes law, the practice of charging juveniles as adults and solitary confinement.
Local author Alan Jacobson writes thrillers, including a popular series that follows the exploits of FBI profiler Karen Vail. His most recent book in the series, Inmate 1577, takes place in San Francisco – specifically, Alcatraz. Jacobson did extensive research on prison life in the 1960s, particularly at the Federal Penitentiary at Alcatraz. I sat down with Jacobson to talk about his new book. Audio above; transcript after the jump.
By Nicole Jones
Tonight, Seniors at City Arts and Technology are flexing their filmmaking muscles and showcasing their short documentary films about the American prison system and mental health institutionalization. The screening is the result of a three week project combining work from government, world literature and art classes. Students learned about the criminal justice system in government class and chose topics like immigration detention, private prisons, solitary confinement and juvenile justice to report on. In literature class, students analyzed “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest,” while in art class students created t-shirts, buttons and stickers to represent views on their selected issues.
The 3-5 minute student films will be shown tonight at City Arts & Technology High School, 325 La Grande Ave., San Francisco (Excelsior District) tonight at 6:30pm.