Mass incarceration in California and nationwide has placed millions of people behind bars. Criminal justice activists, however, have started to reverse the trend of locking people up. In 2008, mass incarceration reached its height with 1,000 people held in corrections per 100,000 adults. Now the rate has fallen to 830 inmates per 100,000. The decriminalization of minor offenses and expansion of alternatives to jail for people convicted of low-level offenses have contributed to this drop in incarceration rates.
A California district court judge has ruled that U.S. cops can't force people to unlock their cellphones using their fingers or faces. The case in question involved an individual who was trying to extort another by threatening to play an embarrassing video on Facebook. Authorities were planning to raid a property and wanted permission to unlock any devices that used facial recognition or similar technology.
As many as 2,600 federal prisoners in California and around the country incarcerated for selling or distributing crack cocaine could be released if the First Step Act withstands bipartisan opposition in Congress. The president has said that he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk, but that outcome is far from assured. Democrats have criticized the bill for not going far enough to reform the criminal justice system while many Republicans have voiced concerns about releasing people they view as dangerous criminals back into society.
A California man has been arrested for allegedly attempting to kidnap a school bus. The 47-year-old man got onto a bus full of schoolchildren when it was stopped to allow a few of the elementary school students on board to use the bathroom. He has since been charged with attempted carjacking and kidnapping. The incident occurred in the evening when the bus was coming back from a field trip.