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Monterey County Crime & Justice Articles

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.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
State Supreme Court sides with lower courts on Measure Z, limiting local jurisdictions in regulating oil and gas development.

It’s a pleasant 67 degrees in Seaside as I write this, slightly warmer than the usual high of 65. Such moderate temperatures are so normal for Seaside that it’s easy, for those who haven’t traveled further inland this summer, to…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Carmel refuses to release a report detailing its former police chief’s short tenure.

Carmel’s tab for the seven months its former police chief, Alan Ward, worked is a big one: It cost the city more than an estimated $364,200. That includes the cost of a nationwide search, Ward’s salary for the year he…

Image caption: Doctors and psychiatrists say they are the "linchpin" of California's prison medical system, but working conditions are driving away staff.
Despite Six-Figure Pay, CA Prison Doctors Authorize Strike

Almost half of the jobs for doctors and psychiatrists in California prisons are unfilled. Now, their union says it’s ready to strike over pay even as the state faces a steep budget deficit.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
The public weighs in to support the creation of a sheriff's oversight committee.

It's a potentially long and unclear road to creating an oversight board and/or inspector general's office with authority over the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, but the process is underway.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Reports on conditions at the Monterey County Jail remain secret. It’s past time to change that.

Sara Rubin here, thinking about what we still don’t know about conditions at Monterey County Jail. As you can read in a story by Rey Mashayekhi that will run in print in the July 27 issue of the Weekly, and…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
A court battle over sealed reports detailing conditions at Monterey County Jail escalates.

Since settling a class-action lawsuit over poor conditions at Monterey County Jail in 2015, the county and Wellpath, its health care provider at the jail, have been required to allow court-appointed neutral monitors at the facility. Those monitors have written…

Image caption: Why can't the state say whether a $100 million per year prisoner rehabilitation program is working?
California Spent Millions to Rehab Prisoners But Did it Work?

A yearlong investigation shows that a $100 million-a-year rehabilitation program for former California prisoners grew with little oversight from the state corrections agency. It's unclear how many parolees wind up back in prison.

Image caption: California Supreme Court says employers would suffer if family members who catch COVID from workers get compensation.
No Workers Comp For COVID Given to Family Members, Court Rules

A Bay Area woman sued her husband's employer after she became infected with COVID-19. The California Supreme Court found that giving her workers' comp could set a precedent that would imperil the system.

Image caption: California's Reparations Task Force meets for the final time to deliver its comprehensive report.
Reparations Panel Delivers Hundreds of Recommendations

The first-in-the-nation state-appointed task force report contains hundreds of recommendations for reparation, including a proposal that the state apologize and make financial amends for slavery and decades of racist policies.

Image caption: The future of at-large city elections, a crucial voting rights issue, is now in the hands of the California Supreme Court.
At-Large vs. District Elections Case Heard at State Supreme Court

In a landmark case, California's Supreme Court will decide if cities must switch their at-large elections to a voting-by-district system after hearing oral arguments the Pico Neighborhood Association v. Santa Monica voting rights case June 27.

Image caption: The state expects 348 prison inmates to request gender-affirming health care in 2023.
California Prisons See Spike in Gender-Affirming Care Cases

The population of transgender inmates in California prisoners surged by 234 percent in the years since the state adopted a first-in-the-nation policy allowing gender-affirming health care.

Image caption: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married twice in San Francisco: in 2004, when Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and again in 2008 (pictured).
California’s LGBTQ Trailblazers

Learn about the charismatic leaders who founded Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society, ONE Inc. and other “homophile movement” groups in the Golden State.

Image caption: Forced and child marriage survivors arrive at a protest, organized to support a ban on child marriage, at the state Capitol in Sacramento on June 22, 2023.
Child Marriage Survivors Press California to Ban the Practice

You have to be 18 to get divorced in California, but there’s no minimum age to get married. Child marriage survivors protested at the state Capitol, but the Legislature likely won’t act until next year.

Image caption: Newsom announced his push for a Constitutional Amendment to regulate guns on his Twitter account.
Newsom Pitches Constitutional Amendment on Guns

Gov. Gavin Newsom took to his Twitter account to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would regulate gun sales and use nationwide, in a way that courts cannot change.

Image caption: Gavin Newsom (l) has lashed out at Florida Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (r).
Newsom Wants DeSantis Charged With Kidnapping Migrants

‘You small, pathetic man,’ Gavin Newsom wrote in a Twitter post suggesting he’d pursue criminal charges against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over recent migrant flights to Sacramento.

Image caption:
What Happens to a Town When its Prison Closes?

California is unwinding the prison-building boom of the 1980s and 1990s. The cuts are falling on small towns that banked on government jobs to anchor their communities.

Image caption: How many innocent people have been executed? There is no way to know for sure.
Death Penalty Mistakes: When the State Kills the Innocent

More than 4 percent of death penalty convicts have been wrongfully convicted, data shows. But courts including the U.S. Supreme Court have failed to provide protections for the innocent facing death at the hands of the state.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Greenfield welcomes six new officers

GREENFIELD — Five new police officers and one community service officer, all bilingual speakers, have joined the Greenfield Police Department. Officers Damian Ayala, Daniel Lopez and Michael Ramirez are recent graduates from the police academy, and Officers Antonio Jardines and …

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
The county Coroner’s Office is hamstrung by budget-related staffing issues, grand jury finds.

The Monterey County Civil Grand Jury has released a new report on the county Coroner’s Office, finding issues with insufficient staffing and inefficient workflows resulting in autopsy reports often taking more than six months to complete.


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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