We propose to cover local police in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as the court system in the Bay Area.
NOTE: We have received a matching grant! If we can raise $1,000 it will be matched with another $1,000 from the Harnisch Foundation. After you donate the Harnisch Foundation will match it!
We would like to turn this into a series: As each story gets funded we will pitch a new one. Here are two to start us off.
1) inside the court system: we’ll take you inside the Alameda county court system and give you a sense of the day to day workings. Our reporter will spend a full two weeks, every day, inside of the county courts to really report on the cases that never make the headlines and the players (judges, prosecutors, public defenders, the accused and their loved ones) to give listeners and readers a ringside seat inside one of our least scrutinized institutions.
The goal is to give members of the public a sense of how their court system really works.
2) Where will all the parolees go? Half of the parolees released into Alameda county end up in Oakland. Now, the state is poised to release another 27,000- 40,000 inmates into a California with an unemployment NEARING 12%. In many neighborhoods, that number is much, much higher. How will these new parolees be incorporated into society? We will look at how East Oakland and SF’s Mission District are handling this issue.
All costs go to paying a freelance reporter for their time working on these stories.
While extensively covered by the local and national media, the Bay Area's role as home to voices challenging our system of crime and punishment, as well as creating alternatives receis less attention. The Bay Area is ground zero for both the “police watch” and prison reform movements. Under the leadership of Sherriff Mike Hennessey, San Francisco’s city jail and juvenile hall have instituted path-breaking rehabilitation programs for inmates. The county criminal court has unique divisions that pair defendants with mental health and drug programs and abate their sentences for completing treatment.
The Board of Supervisors, in cooperation with the Sherriff, District Attorney, and Public Defender recently launched a council dedicated to stepping up efforts to successfully reintegrate ex-offenders back into city life. Local universities like UC-Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State, and UC-Hastings School of Law have a number of faculty who are active locally and nationally in reforming the criminal justice system.
There is an active community here striving to create alternatives and ready for sustained coverage of crime and justice that asks bigger questions, goes beneath the surface, and engages them in a conversation about solution. Our new “Radio Engage” digital platform will also allow us to actively curate a dialogue we’re calling “fixipedia” to engage the public in brainstorming solutions to issues that we bring up in our reporting.