The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast

David Onek is the host of the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast.

The Podcast, a co-production of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice and the Berkeley School of Journalism, features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders: law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates, service providers, academics and others. 

The Podcast can be heard on iTunes, through NPR-affiliate KALW, and on the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate site, among other places.

Episode #25: David Muhammad, Alameda County Chief Probation Officer
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Alameda County Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad discusses California's criminal justice realignment, his efforts to reform Washington, DC's juvenile justice system, the importance of building community partnerships, how he went from being a youth on probation in Oakland to the Chief Probation Officer, and more.

Episode #24: Jeffrey Rosen, Santa Clara County District Attorney
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Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen discusses creating a Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate past cases with alleged misconduct and provide training to prevent future misconduct, his new policy on medical marijuana dispensaries, the importance of transparency in officer-involved shooting investigations, and more.

Episode #23: Sujatha Baliga, Program Director, Community Justice Works
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Sujatha Baliga, Program Director at Community Justice Works, discusses her innovative restorative justice work in the Alameda County juvenile justice system, how she got strong buy-in from law enforcement for restorative justice programming, her own personal history as a survivor of crime and her experience sharing her story with people serving time for violent offenses, and more.

Episode #22: Patricia Caruso, Former Director, Michigan Department of Corrections
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Patricia Caruso, former Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, discusses how Michigan reduced its prison population and reduced recidivism through a “Justice Reinvestment” strategy, why corrections officials should care about what happens when people leave prison, Michigan’s innovative reentry initiative, lessons other states can take from the Michigan experience and more.

Episode #21: Michael Romano, Co-Founder, Stanford Three Strikes Project
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Michael Romano, Co-Founder of the Stanford Three Strikes Project, discusses how the California Three Strikes law can lead to life sentences for people with minor offenses, how students in his project have helped a dozen such clients get released from prison after having their sentences reduced and the need to reform Three Strikes so that it focuses on serious and violent offenders.

Episode #20: Bernard Melekian, Director, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, U.S. Department of Justice
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Bernard Melekian, Director of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office in the U.S. Department of Justice, discusses how the fiscal crisis will change policing, “values-based policing,” bringing a local law enforcement perspective to federal policy-making, federal efforts to partner with local law enforcement, and more.

Episode #19: Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director, Boston Ten Point Coalition
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Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, discusses why he got involved in working with youth to prevent violence, developing a close working relationship with law enforcement, the importance of data-driven violence reduction strategies, Boston's upcoming city-wide gang mediation effort, and more.

Episode #18: Ron Davis, East Palo Alto Police Chief
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East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis discusses the need for police leadership in reentry, East Palo Alto's innovative reentry partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the importance of fair and impartial policing, and being a finalist for the Seattle Police Chief and New Orleans Police Chief positions.

Episode #17: Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP
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Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, discusses the NAACP's new "Smart and Safe" criminal justice initiative, his support for the National Criminal Justice Act, the consequences of the nation's incarceration policies, the importance of parents taking responsibility for truancy, and more.

Episode #16: Susan Manheimer, San Mateo Police Chief and California Police Chiefs Association President
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Susan Manheimer, San Mateo Police Chief and California Police Chiefs Association President, discusses why she became a police officer, becoming the first woman Chief in San Mateo and first woman President of the Police Chiefs Association, using community policing to reduce crime, collaborating regionally with the other Bay Area Chiefs, and more.

Episode #15: James Bell, Executive Director, W. Haywood Burns Institute
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James Bell, Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, discusses his work to reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system, the involvement of community members in the reform process, the importance of data-driven decision-making, California's leadership role in reducing racial and ethnic disparities, and more.

Episode #13: Kevin Grant, Oakland Street Outreach Coordinator
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Kevin Grant, Oakland Street Outreach Coordinator, discusses how he maintains credibility with both young people and law enforcement, how he turned his life around after fifteen years behind bars, how he fosters relationships with employers to help people with prior convictions find jobs, and more.

Episode #12: Anthony Batts, Oakland Police Chief
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Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts discusses his goals as Oakland's new Chief, the importance of working with the community, his efforts to reduce police response times, how his doctorate degree has helped him in his policing career, and more.

Episode #11: Frank Zimring, Professor, Berkeley Law School
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Frank Zimring, Professor at Berkeley Law School, discusses New York City's remarkable crime decline in the past twenty years, the related policy implications, and more.

Episode #10: Mimi Silbert, President and CEO, Delancey Street Foundation
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Mimi Silbert, President and CEO of the Delancey Street Foundation, discusses the unique Delancey Street rehabilitation model, the success of Delancey Street’s businesses, her attempts to partner with the state to reform the California prison system, the need for political leadership on criminal justice issues, and more.

Episode #9: Jeanne Woodford, Former Warden, San Quentin State Prison
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Jeanne Woodford, former Warden of San Quentin State Prison and former Acting Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, discusses becoming San Quentin’s first woman warden, the impact of prison programming cuts on public safety, the reasons for her resignation from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the opportunity for criminal justice reform due to the budget crisis, and more.

Episode #8: Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney
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San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris discusses how we can be "Smart on Crime," her innovative Back on Track program, the need for law enforcement to proactively build trust with the community, her mother's influence or her career, and more.

Episode #7: George Gascon, San Francisco Police Chief
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San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon discusses putting ethics at the forefront of police training, what he learned from Chief Bill Bratton’s leadership style, his battles with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over immigration issues, the consequences of overcriminalization in the African-American community, and more.

Episode #6: Senator Mark Leno, Chair, California Senate Public Safety Committee
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Senator Mark Leno, Chair of the California Senate Public Safety Committee, discusses politicians' fear of being labeled "soft on crime," his community corrections bill, the need for a state sentencing commission, the importance of trauma recovery centers for victims of violence, and more.

Episode #5: Sunny Schwartz, Author, "Dreams from the Monster Factory"
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Sunny Schwartz, author of "Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All," discusses the award-winning Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP) in San Francisco's jails, the principles of restorative justice, being "tough" on inmates by making them confront their issues, building partnerships between sworn and civilian staff in the jails, and more.

Episode #4: Bill Bratton, Former Los Angeles Police Chief
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Bill Bratton, former Los Angeles Police Chief and former New York Police Commissioner, discusses the importance of working with the community, recent charges of crime data manipulation in New York, the dangers of cutting police services due to budget crises, the emergence of “predictive policing,” and more.

Episode #3: Matthew Cate, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
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Matthew Cate, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, discusses the Department’s new parole policies, the importance of research in guiding policy decisions, his prior work as Inspector General of the agency he now leads, his advice for the next Governor on California corrections, and more.

Episode #2: Dr. Joe Marshall, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Omega Boys Club
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Dr. Joe Marshall, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, discusses the program’s 150 college graduates, hosting the Street Soldiers radio show, helping young people stay “alive and free,” bridging the gap between the police and the community, and more.

Episode #1: Gil Kerlikowske, White House Drug Czar
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Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (the White House "Drug Czar"), discusses ending the "War on Drugs," treating drugs as a public health issue, the problems of prescription drugs and drugged driving, the federal government's response to state medical marijuana laws, and more.

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