- Showing 4 posts filed under: Correspondent:Lisa Rea [–] published between Oct 01, 2009 and Oct 31, 2009 [Show all]
Gubernatorial candidates in California talk prisons & prison reform
by Lisa Rea
Some weeks ago the Sacramento Bee did a story on the five candidates running for governor of California, thus far, and their views on prisons and criminal justice policies. It is hard to say that any of the responses are encouraging or enlightened. In fact, it left me wondering where's the vision? Where's the bold leadership?
Many of the responses showed a lack of understanding of the prison crisis the state faces and some of the responses showed a surprising amount of ignorance. The declared or soon to be declared candidates include Republicans: businesswoman Meg Whitman, state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, and former congressman and state legislator Tom Campbell. The Democrats include state attorney general and former governor Jerry Brown and mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom. Many of the candidate's comments reflected some of the same rhetoric heard this year in the California Legislature. The state is faced with severe prison overcrowding with increasing threats by federal courts to reduce its prison population. This has made prison reform more than a hot topic; some might call it “toxic”.
An IRA bomber and a victim's daughter
On Tuesday, former Irish Republican Army (IRA) activist Pat Magee, who was convicted of the Brighton bombings in 1984, met Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, one of the five victims killed in the blast.
Though Magee had been given eight life sentences, he was freed in 1999 under the negotiated terms of the Good Friday Agreement of 1999. Magee's conviction was based on his planning of the bomb and for attempting to kill British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was attending a conference at the Grand Hotel in Brighton (above), where the bomb was planted.
Victims abused then denied care: 8 states allow practice
by Lisa Rea
After reading the news story on MSNBC I was astounded. The story tells of the denial of health care insurance to victims of domestic violence in the U.S. This apparently has been going on for quite a while in the U.S. but most of us probably never heard about this appalling fact. As the story reads, a 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee found that 8 of 16 U.S. insurers denied coverage to applicants due to domestic violence. You'd think maybe we were talking about the offender (i.e. the abuser) being denied coverage but, no, we're talking about the victim of domestic violence. In the U.S. health insurance companies can deny coverage without explaining why that coverage is being denied.
Dark charges from Mahony's inner circle
by Lisa Rea.
When I read this column on the clergy abuse scandal written by Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times it was like getting an immediate migraine headache. I have followed the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church closely since the first public eruption in 2000/2001. I know I'm not alone. But my interest led me to speak out on this subject publicly because of my deep commitment to restorative justice and its great value to victims of crime and offenders as well. But my passion to do more than speak about it privately to my own circle of friends and family was because this subject mixes abuse of children with faith. Since I am a committed Christian these news stories have appalled me deeply. It has offended me as a Christian. And then there are the victims.