In the News

Barry Krisberg in the news:

Sharp downturn in use of force at Oakland Police Department

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Francisco Chronicle (registration required), Sept. 2, 2015

The falling numbers are a good indication that police-community relations are improving, according to Barry Krisberg, a UC Berkeley criminologist. “Oakland has been pretty quiet compared to the 600 bullets fired in Stockton, or some pretty horrendous lethal-force incidents in San Jose,” he said.

Jerome Miller, revolutionized juvenile justice, dies

Barry Krisberg interviewed for The Washington Post, August 15, 2015

“I would rate Jerry Miller the most influential juvenile justice and criminal justice reformer of the past 50 years,” Barry Krisberg … said in an interview. “His approach to juvenile justice is today the national norm.”

Maddy Middleton murder: Youth advocates decry trying teen as adult in girl’s death

Barry Krisberg quoted in San Jose Mercury News, August 3, 2015

“There is no way on earth that a 15-year-old could have fully comprehended what he was doing,” said Barry Krisberg.… “He might be able to recount the events that resulted, but the notion that he comprehended the consequences of his action flies in the face of all the science we know.”

The controversial method that helped turn one of America’s most murderous cities into one of its safest

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Washington Post, June 1, 2015

“The study looked at who was committing the violence, who was doing the shooting and when,” said Barry Krisberg. “And it came down to a small number of people. … Violence tends to be concentrated in certain social areas, and most of the people who engage in criminal violence engage people they know, or are related to, and it spreads from generation to generation.”

Different kind of crime-victim group lobbies against rolling back Prop. 47

Barry Krisberg quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2015

Barry Krisberg … said the alternative justice lobby is unlikely to affect lawmakers’ votes on criminal penalties. “The politicians are still pretty frightened about crossing the law enforcement unions.”

Drop in crime offers hope of cost cuts

Franklin Zimring and Barry Krisberg cited in UT San Diego, April 24, 2015

Zimring: Because of prison realignment (to county jails) and other policies in response to federal prison overcrowding orders, California has undertaken “a pretty substantial experiment in decarceration,” he added, and yet crime just keeps falling.

Krisberg says many Republicans—typically leaders of the law-and-order coalition—now often back changes that help reduce costs and incarceration rates, even as some Democrats oppose them because of their closeness to the prison guards and police unions.

More transparency needed with county realignment funds

Barry Krisberg quoted in Contra Costa Times, March 18, 2015

“This fight is going on in almost every county in California,” says Barry Krisberg, a criminologist at UC Berkeley. “Unfortunately, in a lot of places the traditional voices are winning.”

New California law Prop 47 could threaten drug rehab program

Barry Krisberg quoted in Orange County Register, February 21, 2015

“Until the savings money from 47 gets translated back into the counties, and that’ll take a couple years, we probably have a period where things are no better than they were,” he said. “The single most important thing we can do is get the dollars into community organizations and groups who are prepared to and can run accredited drug-treatment programs.”

Trim California crowding to reduce inmate deaths

Barry Krisberg interviewed by Contra Costa Times, February 17, 2015

California prisons are so deadly in part because they are so large, with many holding more than 4,000 inmates, said Barry Krisberg.

Northern California chief’s new approach revitalizes force

Barry Krisberg quoted in The New York Times, February 1, 2015

“A lot of departments pay lip service to community policing, but Richmond is actually doing it,” Krisberg said.

Prop. 47 is achieving its main goal, but with unintended consequences

Barry Krisberg quoted in Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2015

“There’s no evidence that anybody was being helped by the experience of arrest,” he said. “There’s no research that for chronic addicts, an arrest gets you into treatment. What gets people into treatment is pressure from family members and peers.”

Boy’s death becomes flashpoint in battle over gang injunction

Barry Krisberg quoted in Voice of OC, January 23, 2015

“If we really want to prosecute gangs we should prosecute gangs with the criminal justice system or even more importantly invest in prevention or intervention.”

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.”