In the News

Barry Krisberg in the news:

Re-entry programs & recidivism: the connection continued

Barry Krisberg quoted in Corrections, March 24, 2014

Barry Krisberg … noted that, “Everything we know from the most rigorous research suggests if you want to reduce recidivism rates, you have to address housing, security, availability of jobs, and social connections.”


Why for-profit prisons house more inmates of color

Barry Krisberg interviewed on KPCC, March 13, 2014

Barry Krisberg … says the findings surprised him. “I had assumed private prisons were taking a lot of low-risk inmates,” he says. “That if you went to a private prison, you’d find a lot of old, Anglo prisoners. That’s not the case.”

Saratoga teen’s suicide spurs ‘Audrie’s Law’ on cyberbullying

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Jose Mercury News, March 6, 2014

The proposed legislation is “moderate and reasonable…. What we see here are some necessary fixes to the current law,” Krisberg said Thursday. Some past legislation, proposed after sensational crimes “went overboard and ended up being a Trojan horse for what I would call extremely conservative reforms.” But in the case of the proposed “Audrie’s Law,” he said, “this law is very targeted on specific problems.”


Federal court ruling could mean the parole of more murderers in California

Barry Krisberg quoted on KPCC, March 3, 2014

“It was a dramatic change in how long the parole board could make parolees wait for their next hearing,” said Barry Krisberg. “The evidence was pretty clear that this was causing people to stay in prison longer.”

Sentencing commission could bring major reforms

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Daily Journal, February 27, 2014 (registration required)
Krisberg, of UC Berkeley, said the state should model the U.S. Sentencing Commission in creating guidelines for judges…. That approach, Krisberg said, has been modeled by other states. “In almost every state that has gone to a guidelines approach, it has resulted in violent offenders serving more time, property and drug offenders serving less time, and basically overall the prison population is stabilizing or going down,” he said.

Softening law on hard drugs creates unlikely bedfellows

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2014
We have the political theorists on board. What about average, middle-class Americans? Barry Krisberg … who has been advising the supporters of the bill, says you might be surprised. “If they can get it to the ballot, it will pass,” Krisberg says. “There’s been polling on this, and 60 percent of Californians say just because someone uses drugs, they don’t want that person to be incarcerated.”

Inmate release proposal is seen as watershed

Barry Krisberg quoted in Daily Journal, January 27, 2014 (registration required)
“It looks like the state has come a way down the road in terms of embracing reforms that have been on the table before and they haven’t considered before,” said Barry Krisberg.

Audrie Pott: Boys admit sexually assaulting Saratoga teen who committed suicide

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Jose Mercury News, January 14, 2014
“It’s what I call justice by geography. The juvenile court has wide disparities in the amount of penalties it connects to specific behaviors,” said Barry Krisberg …. “On average, Santa Clara (County) has lower sentences than other places. They’ve embraced the treatment and rehabilitation strategy”—a mission of California’s welfare and institutions code—”so this doesn’t completely surprise me.”

Gascón push to reduce most nonviolent crimes to misdemeanors

Barry Krisberg quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 2013 (registration required)

Krisberg said the ballot measure, if enacted, would result in “significant declines in the number of people in state prison….” “There appears to be tremendous support for the ideas in this proposal,” said Krisberg. “The question is, can they get it on the ballot? Collecting signatures takes a lot of money. But if it was on the ballot, based on the polling data I have seen, it would pass overwhelmingly.”

California juvenile incarceration rate down

Barry Krisberg interviewed on KGO 810 News, December 18, 2013

But there’s still work to be done. “The one area that still needs quite a bit of work is mental health care for mentally ill kids across the nation. It’s a problem,” says Barry Krisberg.

Teen avoids jail with affluence defense in deadly drunk-driving case

Barry Krisberg quoted in AlJazeera America, December 12, 2013

Barry Krisberg, a senior fellow at UC Berkeley Law School, told Al Jazeera that while there are factors that mitigate criminal liability—such as mental illness, age and developmental disabilities—economic status is not one of them. “It just doesn’t make sense. The notion that because someone is wealthy, we shouldn’t hold them accountable is nutty.”

Auto thefts jump after shift in state’s prison policy

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, December 10, 2013 (requires registration)

“Realignment has brought enormous change to California, and it appears to have affected auto thefts, in particular.”

Oakland crime strategy has failed in past

Barry Krisberg interviewed on KTVU, November 19, 2013

“It certainly hasn’t been effective so far, and there is no information suggesting it is effective,” says Barry Krisberg, UC Berkeley criminologist. Krisberg calls Ceasefire a distraction. “We need a closer connection between police and community. Oakland police have pretty much abandoned community policing.”

After years of cuts, Salinas police chief says it’s time to add back

Barry Krisberg interviewed by KAZU-FM, November 14, 2013

Barry Krisberg puts it this way. “Changing the relationship of the police to the community—what’s often called community policing—in which police position themselves as partners with people in a city,” Krisberg says. “You know they’re no longer the occupying army.”

Majority of killings go unsolved in Bay Area’s most violent cities, FBI data shows

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Jose Mercury News, November 13, 2013

One factor in San Pablo’s success may be its less adversarial relationship with residents. When citizens believe police are brutal or unfair, they won’t step forward to help, said Barry Krisberg.

Injunction dysfunction

Barry Krisberg quoted in Mission and State, November 12, 2013

Barry Krisberg … said the 9th Circuit Court’s decision signals the slow-but-steady demise of gang injunctions. “Requiring full-blown due process and individual hearings for each person named in an injunction will cost prosecutors and city attorneys resources that they do not have,” said Krisberg…. “It’s time to deploy scarce law enforcement dollars on approaches that really advance public protection, not quasi legal stunts like injunctions.”

In decades-long prison litigation, Brown’s defiant stance raises eyebrows

Barry Krisberg quoted in Daily Journal, November 4, 2013 (registration required)

But instead of pursuing repeated legal challenges, said Barry Krisberg, a senior fellow at UC Berkeley School of Law who studies prison issues, the state could have focused its efforts on complying with the court order. That strategy could have made for a quicker resolution and saved taxpayer money, Krisberg explained.

Brown takes tough stance on crime-related laws

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, October 29, 2013

“He said he’s going to reconsider California sentencing at some point. I see no sign of it,” said Barry Krisberg.

Who’s being served?

Barry Krisberg quoted in Mission and State, October 28, 2013

Krisberg said, “Gang injunctions penalize associations similar to Jim Crow or apartheid laws. They are virtually always targeted at black and brown youth. The potential to engage in racial profiling is huge.” When asked why injunctions haven’t been challenged more successfully, Krisberg added, “Community groups rarely have the financial resources to really challenge these atrocities. I have urged progressive legislators to ban them statewide.”

Florida’s lax oversight enables systemic abuse at private youth prisons

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Huffington Post, October 23, 2013

“Some of the top criminologists were basically scaring the hell out of people, saying, ‘We’ve got this wave of new barbarians at the door,’” said Barry Krisberg…. “It’s true that youth crime rates were rising. But they were projecting that this was going to double, triple. It was outrageous.”