Sheriff Livingston wants to build 240 new cells and increase services at the West County Detention Facility (Photo by: Rachel Witte, 2012)

Sheriff pursues state funding to expand cells and services at West County jail

The Contra Costa County Sheriff is pursuing an $80 million state grant that could upgrade the West County Detention Facility. If awarded, Sheriff Dave Livingston plans to increase jail space and re-entry services at the...
Mayor Gayle McLauglin posed with the men of Men and Women of Purpose. Left to right: James Walker, Douglas McKoy, Ivory Mitchell, Willie Hicks, Frank Hancock, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Rick Fortenberry, Eddie Morris, Antoine Cloird and Fred Johnson. (Photo by: Sukey Lewis)

Community organization receives funding for prisoner mentorship program

Men and Women of Purpose hosted an open house last Tuesday evening to honor community leaders who have helped it obtain funding and support.
Inmates at the West County Detention Facility

County Board of Supervisors approves $4 million to invest in jail alternatives

Step foot into the Reach Fellowship for Women in North Richmond, and Dr. Edwina Perez Santiago will greet you like an excited aunt hosting a holiday dinner party. “Come on in baby,” she says to...

Election 2012: Proposition 30

West County school leaders are anxiously awaiting the vote on the state’s Proposition 30, a tax increase proposal written by Governor Jerry Brown that if passed would mean millions of dollars for the West Contra...
This year, 46-year-old Johnny Valdepena will vote for the first time. He tells his story as a formerly incarcerated man to encourage others in similar circumstances to exercise their right to vote. (Photo by: Rachel Witte)

Formerly incarcerated men encourage others to vote

Johnny Valdepena, a 46-year-old Richmond resident who has spent more of his life in prison than out of it, will vote for the first time next week. It wouldn’t have happened, he says, without a...

Once behind bars, group advocates for prisoners coming home

When the door opened at West County Detention Facility for Tamisha Walker, it was dark. After six months in jail, Walker was free. But she was alone. No one was there to pick her up....
Contra Costa County officials commended each other for collaborating in the year since the state transferred responsibility of low-level felons to county jurisdiction. Photo by Julie Brown

Still Talking: County officials commend collaboration, need realignment budget

One year has passed since California transferred responsibility for low-level felons to its counties, and Contra Costa officials have yet to pass a budget for the $19 million the county received in July to handle...