Public safety

Jail Violence on the Rise

Santa Clara County jails have seen a sharp uptick in assaults over the past few years, partly because of state prison reforms that pushed more dangerous inmates to local correctional facilities.

Read More 1

Wasserman’s State of the County Speech Highlights Social Services, Healthcare

The stink of ex-Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. has dissipated, and Santa Clara County is focused on a fresh start for 2014. “Scandal is no longer in the air,” Supervisor Ken Yeager said after Tuesday’s State of the County speech, delivered by recently sworn-in Board President Mike Wasserman. “We certainly spent most of last year changing and improving public outreach and creating much more transparency than there was before.” Wasserman’s address focused on the county’s role as a safety net for the most vulnerable, while also highlighting the little-known services it provides for residents.

Read More 3

Shooting Shows Need for Better Gun Laws

A 9-year-old boy in Washington, described as frightened and crying, sat in front of a judge in juvenile court waiting to see if he would be granted bail for a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. The boy found a gun at his mother’s house, put it in his backpack and took it to school. When he put his backpack down, the gun went off, critically wounding an 8-year-old girl. This comes from a brief Associated Press article in a local paper. There are questions that went through my mind about this story: How is a nine-year-old competent to stand trial? And, Washington State grants bail for kids? Thee state of California doesn’t do that–isn’t bail to make sure someone shows up for court? And why did he bring the gun to school?