In the News

Barry Krisberg in the news:

LA is learning tough on crime is tough to undo

Barry Krisberg interviewed on KCRW, November 12, 2014

“We’ve dug ourselves into an impossible hole by increasing our incarcerated population by seven- and eight-folds in the last twenty years. And frankly, most of the criminal justice community has been avoiding any significant reforms of this policy. The voters have decided they want the policy changed, so there’s going to be a bit of a catch-up.”

Homicide down, but gains uneven in Bay Area crime

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2014

“Homicide tends to be concentrated in certain neighborhoods, whereas burglaries, auto theft and, to some extent, robberies touch a broader part of the population,” he said.

Proposition 47 an important move in the right direction

Barry Krisberg quoted in Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2014

“We want to focus on violent crime, instead of focusing on chronic drunks and minor drug addicts” who need treatment, not prison time, said UC Berkeley criminologist Barry Krisberg.

Prop 47: As California goes, so goes the nation?

Barry Krisberg writes for The Crime Report, November 5, 2014

California has traditionally been ahead of national developments, but a good predictor of future political trends. Since California is the largest state in the country, if Prop 47 passes other states may well follow suit. As California goes, so goes the nation.

California’s Proposition 47: softer on crime

Barry Krisberg writes for The Conversation, November 4, 2014

It will save California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and use those savings to support education, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and help for victims of crime.

Woodland Hills sole practitioner poses unlikely opponent in state attorney general race

Barry Krisberg quoted in Daily Journal (registration required), October 29, 2014

“As long as I can remember, the AG’s race has been hotly contested, often representing a pretty broad ideological difference between the candidates,” Krisberg said. “This is really very different.”

Newt Gingrich and Jay-Z find common cause in a prisoner reform proposition

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Huffington Post, October 23, 2014

“California is still struggling with a huge and troubled prison system, and the legislature and governor have been essentially incapable of supporting significant sentencing reforms. An initiative is the only way to go.”

17-year-old accused of setting agender teen’s skirt on fire faces 7-year sentence

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Daily Californian, October 20, 2014

“Hate crimes are extraordinarily difficult to prove,” said Barry Krisberg. … “A jury trial in this case would have been very difficult. What we see here was a plea margin that was reached, which will bring the crime down to a different level. It was somewhat ambiguous whether or not it was truly motivated by hatred … or if it was merely a prank.”

New judge taking over prison civil rights lawsuit as solutions sought

Barry Krisberg quoted in Daily Journal (registration required), September 15, 2014

“While there may be arguments about the best way to accomplish services for mentally ill inmates, we’re no longer arguing whether we should or shouldn’t do it.”

Proposition 47 ceases criminal charges; stirs little reaction

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2014

“I think what is fascinating is that there seems to be almost no opposition to this,” says Barry Krisberg. “You’d think in the usual California politics you’d have the right saying this and the left saying something else. But there’s been no campaigning (in opposition) to speak of, no one is spending any money on defeating it and the polls have been running 60 percent positive.”

Early jail releases have surged since California’s prison realignment

Barry Krisberg quoted in Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2014

Krisberg said stopping the early releases would require a fundamental change in California’s criminal justice system. Just “shifting the location of incarceration” from prisons to jails doesn’t change much, he said.

As juvenile arrests plummet, California still investing in incarceration facilities

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Chronicle for Social Change, July 23, 2014

“The traditional view toward at-risk youth is to lock them up and give them treatment,” said Barry Krisberg…. “Quality treatment behind a razor wire doesn’t ring true.”

A city that pays criminals to behave

Barry Krisberg quoted in Aljazeera America, June 6, 2014

“This culture is fixated on punishment and control as the way in which we deal with crime and other problems. It’s essentially a military solution,” said Barry Krisberg … adding that the city’s high crime rates, historically, are rooted in severe poverty, isolation and dim prospects for growth. “The research has been clear that doesn’t work very well.”

In gentrifying neighborhoods, residents say private patrols keep them safe

Barry Krisberg and David Sklansky quoted in Al Jazeera America, May 30, 2014

Some criminal justice experts say the solution to crime isn’t more patrolling but greater opportunities for young people and people coming out of prison. “If you want to bring down robbery, you’ve got to reduce the unemployment rate in the city,” says Barry Krisberg.

“There’s a degree of ambiguity about how private patrols actually operate,” said David Sklansky.

Ohio to agree to reform, eventually eliminate juvenile solitary confinement

Barry Krisberg quoted in Aljazeera America, May 21, 2014

Krisberg, meanwhile, said that putting a young person already upset and going through an emotional crisis into seclusion can often make the problem worse, adding “there’s not a shred of evidence that putting somebody in solitary confinement helps them.”

New criteria for clemency opens up application process for federal inmates

Barry Krisberg interviewed by KPCC-FM, Take Two, April 22, 2014

“We enacted all these laws, mistakenly thinking that this was going to deter drug use, and it didn’t. Now people are looking at those sentences and saying that they were wildly disproportionate, that they use up a tremendous amount of incarceration costs, and that we really need to do something different if we want to reduce drug use in American society.”

The ‘superpredator’ scare

Barry Krisberg interviewed by The New York Times Retro Report, April 6, 2014

“This country went into a moral panic about ‘superpredators.’ But the calculations were wrong. They made it up…. It was a myth, and, unfortunately, it was a myth that some academics jumped onto. The fear of the ‘superpredator’ led to a tremendous number of laws and policies that we’re just now recovering from.”

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.”