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California Prisons

(see also Incarceration, Prison Reform & California Politics)

On the Web  •  In the Library  •  CD & Audio  •  Film & Video Search


On the Web: Articles

Ed Caden's Lament. Stephen James, Sacramento News & Review (10/21/04).

The Code of Silence. Stephen James, Sacramento News & Review (5/13/04). Dangers to whistleblower in CA corrections system.

Prison Industry Has a Lock on Davis. Van Jones, AlterNet (7/16/03).

CCPOA: The Union Behind Prison Growth. Judith Tannenbaum, San Francisco Chronicle [Prison Wall] (n.d. 1999).

On the Web: Specialized Sites

Books not Bars (Ella Baker Center). Focus on replacing scandal-ridden California Youth Authority.

California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

California Correctional Peace Officers' Association. Invaluable gathering of informational materials by Instute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

California Department of Corrections. Official site.

California Prison Focus.

California Youth Authority. Brief outline of CYA history from independent perspective.

Corcoran Prison Fact Sheet. Sonoma County Free Press (1999).

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Other Side of the Wall. CA prisoners' publication, 1995-2004. Major source for conditions inside & thoughtful reflection on prison life.

Prison Activist Resource Center.

Prison Law Office.

Prison Reform Advocacy Center.

Stop Prisoner Rape.

United for No Oppression, Injustice or Neglect (UNION). Advocates prison reform.

In the Library: Articles

Huston, Terry L. "Prisons: a marxist position," Monthly Review 25,6 (11/73):29-33. Viewpoint of a San Quentin inmate.

Johnson, Tom. "Prison power-brokers: the rise of California's correctional officers union," Sacramento News & Review (3/11/93):14-19.

Parenti, Christian. "Crescent City's 'colonial master': notorious Pelican Bay Prison has turned a North Coast town into a penal colony," San Francisco Bay Guardian (9/10/97).

Ross, John. "High-tech dungeon: a class-action lawsuit charges Pelican Bay Prison with creating cruel & dehumanizing conditions for the 'worst of the worst' of California prisoners," San Francisco Bay Guardian (9/23/92).

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books

Argüelles, Marilla (ed.) Extracts from Pelican Bay: An Anthology of Prisoner Poetry, Drawings & Essays (Berkeley CA: Pantograph, 1995).

Birk, Sandow. Incarcerated: Visions of California in the 21st C. (San Francisco: Last Gasp, 2001).

Braly, Malcolm. False Starts: A Memoir of San Quentin & Other Prisons (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976).

Chessman, Caryl. Cell 2455, Death Row (NY: Prentice-Hall, 1954). Memoir.

Cummins, Eric. The Rise & Fall of California's Radical Prison Movement (Stanford, 1994).

Duffy, Clinton T. The San Quentin Story (NY: Greenwood, 1968).

Gilligan, James. Violence in California Prisons: A Proposal for Research into Patterns & Cures (Sacramento: Senate Pugblications, 2000).

Gilmore, Ruth Benson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis & Opposition in Globalizing California (Berkeley: U. of California, 2007).

Liberatore, Paul. The Road to Hell: The True Story of George Jackson, Stephen Bingham & the San Quentin Massacre (NY: Atlantic Monthly, 1996).

Males, Mike A.; Dan Macallair & Khaled Taqi-Eddin. Striking Out: The Failure of California's "Three Strikes & You're Out Law" (San Francisco: Justice Policy Institute, 1999).

In the Library: Fiction

In the Library: For Young Readers

In the Library: Poetry

In the Library: Drama

In the Library: Photography

CD & Audio

Film & Video

"Birdman of Alcatraz" [1962], dir. John Frankenheimer, 147m. In video stores.

"Cell 2455, Death Row" [1955], dir. Fred Sears, 77m. Hollywood version of Caryl Chessman case.

"Kill Me If You Can" [1977], dir. Buzz Kulik, 100m. More incisive version of Caryl Chessman case.

"Purify" [2004], dir. Marisa Pearl, 25m. From mpearl@gmail.com. Adolescent inmates at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility for female offenders in California find a path to enlightenment in a Native American sweat lodge.

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
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