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Monterey County Crime & Justice Articles

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What Reparations Could Look Like in California

KQED has spent more than three years reporting on how reparations could work in California. This series looks at the nuanced work that could be needed.

Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Former Carmel police chief Paul Tomasi is returning to the village after his successor was let go.

Former Carmel police chief Paul Tomasi is being welcomed back to the village, after retiring from the post two years ago to head up security at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He's returning as Carmel's director of public safety on Dec.…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Salinas residents are fed up with sex workers in their neighborhoods, and want them gone.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon on Oct. 14, a handful of women wearing high heels and little clothing are walking along Kings and Roosevelt streets in Salinas. A block away, on North Madeira Avenue and Kern Street, neighbors are protesting…

Image caption: Demonstrators in Sacramento went on a hunger strike to persuade Gov. Newsom to okay a bill banning caste discrimination.
Newsom Vetoes 'Unnecessary' Caste Discrimination Bill

Gov. Newsom vetoes what would have been a first-in-the-nation law banning caste discrimination in education, housing and the workplace. The bill divided South Asian communities in California.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
District Attorney won't file charges against anyone in Carmel altercation.

No charges will be filed in the scuffle between Carmel City Administrator Chip Rerig and gallery owner Craig Rose on Sept. 28, Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni announced on Friday, Oct. 6.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Greenfield PD highlights Mobile Crisis Team

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Police Department is shining a light on its active partnership with Monterey County Behavioral Health, a collaboration dedicated to supporting the community’s mental well-being. The department’s Mobile Crisis Team includes not only officers trained in crisis intervention, …

Image caption: Gov. Newsom this week signed a law creating a new 11 percent excise tax on gun manufacturers and retailers.
Gun Manufacturers Fear Days Are Numbered in California

Gov. Newsom just signed a tax on firearms and ammunition, among other new gun control laws. California’s remaining gun manufacturers wonder if they have a future.

Image caption: Border Patrol policies deliberately channel migrants through some of the harshest desert areas in California, resulting in frequent deaths.
Border Patrol Routes Migrants Into Deadly Imperial Valley Desert

In the Imperial County desert, a volunteer group routinely maintains large barrels filled with water to help migrants traversing the California desert. As rescues increase, the longstanding immigration policies that funneled migrants to such harsh terrain deserve scrutiny.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Judge finds Monterey County Jail's health care contractor in violation of inmate conditions settlement.

A federal judge ruled that Monterey County Jail’s for-profit health care provider is in violation of a class-action settlement over inadequate inmate conditions at the Salinas facility—and has given the company six months to improve its services or risk paying…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Judge finds Monterey County Jail’s health care contractor in violation of inmate conditions settlement.

A federal judge ruled that Monterey County Jail’s for-profit health care provider is in violation of a class-action settlement over inadequate inmate conditions at the Salinas facility—and has given the company six months to improve its services or risk paying…

Image caption: As California's legislative session ends, lawmakers take no steps to address the state's fire insurance crisis.
Legislature Fails to Address California Fire Insurance Crisis

Legislators weren’t able to reach a compromise that helps insurers with wildfire risk while also protecting homeowners. Interest groups hope to find one in meetings this fall.

Image caption: Non-law enforcement spending on anti-hate efforts has topped $200 million since 2021, more than any other state.
California Spends Millions to Stop Hate Crimes. Here’s How

Hate crimes were up 20 percent in California in 2022, with those against transgender, Muslim and Black people increasing especially sharply. But the state is also spending more than any other to combat such crimes, including a hotline, state commission …

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to wait for more information before signing a bill that would remove TikTok from most state smartphones.
Newsom Halts TikTok Ban, App to Stay on State Phones

A bipartisan bill to prohibit TikTok on state phones is shelved until 2024. It had breezed through the state Legislature, but the authors want to tweak the measure. It's the latest social media regulation to get stalled in California.

Image caption: A new contract with their union is designed to ease a shortage of California prison doctors and psychiatrists.
Some of California’s Best-Paid Employees to Get $40K Bonuses

California prisons are badly understaffed when it comes to doctors and psychiatrists. A new contract attempts to boost retention with substantial bonuses.

Image caption: In San Francisco, new police officers can now expect six-figure starting salaries, and other cities are taking similar measures.
Cities Compete to Give Police Recruits the Best Financial Deal

California cities are struggling to hire police in a tight labor market after the COVID pandemic. Some are raising by double digits and offering eye-catching bonuses.

Image caption: In a recent poll, 60 percent of Californians supported use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.
How Some Psychedelic Drugs Could Be Decriminalized in California

Psychedelics are having a moment. A nationwide push to bring magic mushrooms and other psychedelics into the mainstream is gaining traction, and some Californians want in.

King City Rustler logo LOCAL NEWS
Zavala joins King City PD as newest officer

KING CITY — King City Police Department recently welcomed the city’s newest officer, Javier Zavala, to the force. Officer Zavala, a Greenfield native and Navy veteran, was sworn in Aug. 8. Zavala graduated from Monterey Peninsula College Law Enforcement Academy …

Image caption: Statements recorded by police body cameras may not substitute for an actual witness.
Police Body Cam Can’t Replace Witness Testimony, CA Supremes Rule

More California police departments are deploying body cameras. A new court ruling restricts how prosecutors can use footage of witness accounts at trial.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Appeals Court decision allows release of thousands of pages of documents about conditions in Monterey County Jail.

The public now has its clearest picture yet of medical and mental health care conditions at Monterey County Jail after the release of previously sealed reports by neutral monitors charged with inspecting the state of the jail.


California cities switch to more inclusive, district-based elections system.
Voting Rights...the Final Frontier
Pushed by activists, cities move from at-large elections to district races.
Access to abortion in California is limited in many areas, though state laws protect a woman’s right to choose.
Abortion Rights in California, Explained
But even in California, access to abortion services in many areas remains limited.
The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
UPDATE: California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here
The making of Gov. Newsom's plan to help get mentally ill Californians into treatment.
The cycle of crime and homelessness is escalating, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Homelessness and Crime in California: Even More Complex Than You Think
What causes the cycle of homelessness and crime, and how to stop it.
The California Supreme Court has defined the state’s legal and political agenda for more than 170 years.
How the California Supreme Court Blazes Legal Trails
From its beginnings in the Gold Rush, the state Supreme Court continues to define the state today.
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