Helping ex-cons restart their lives

Barry Dugar never thought he would end up at San Quentin State Prison. Since his release in 2008, the Richmond native has dedicated his time to making life easier for those coming out of the prison system. Dugar launched The Remember Us People Project which provides transitional housing to ex-offenders. Nancy DeVille has the story. This story first aired on KALX 90.7 FM and is a production of Northgate Radio.

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 30-acre site. While Livingston got the green light to submit a proposal to the state, some supervisors and activists are proceeding with caution.

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 the women as they enter through the front door, a welcome accompanied by a warm smile and a handshake. There are five women in attendance today, from different walks of life but here for the same reason: they want to get their lives back on…

Contra Costa passes realignment budget

Contra Costa County officials approved a budget of more than $20 million at a meeting in Martinez today to both continue operations in the jails, probation department and courts, as well as develop community partnerships geared around reentry. More than a year after California transferred responsibility for low-levels felons to county jurisdiction, the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) unanimously approved $15.4 million of the total budget to continue operations and expand some county departments. The move came just in time before…

Inside the West County Jail

When you think of a jail, what comes to mind? Bars. A cell without windows. Agitated prisoners. Maybe I watch too much TV. But when you go to the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, be prepared for something different. This is a model jail where inmates can get a high school diploma or learn a trade. It’s also overcrowded, and its operations are threatened. “So before you go outside to the main part of the jail, I would like…