In the News

August 11, 2016


At least one barrier to asset forfeiture reform has been cleared, as a compromise has been reached between law enforcement groups and state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles.

Last year, California seemed set to join a growing number of states in reforming civil asset forfeiture, a means by which law enforcement agencies can seize a person’s assets without first obtaining a criminal conviction.

August 11, 2016

Photo Caption: Patrice Hill, a program coordinator with Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, leads a slam poetry workshop in March sponsored by the mayor’s gang prevention task force. Rosa Aqeel and Kim McGill argue that more must be done to give the state’s minority youth a better future. LEZLIE STERLING Sacramento Bee file

By Rosa Aqeel and Kim McGill - Special to The Bee

August 09, 2016

California should stop prosecuting exploited minors

By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board | 2:16 p.m. Aug. 8, 2016

July 25, 2016


Forty years ago, voters first heard the allegation that there were “welfare queens” — throngs of impoverished mothers supposedly dedicated to bilking programs for the needy by having children. The idea gained enough political traction that California and 21 other states passed “crackdown” laws during the welfare reform era of the 1990s, denying mothers on public assistance additional aid if they had more children.

July 14, 2016

Vivian Thorp was a single mother of a 4-year-old daughter when she enrolled in California’s welfare-to-work program in 1999. Shortly after, Thorp met her fiance, who was also on public assistance. He struggled with mental illness. Sometimes they were homeless. Then Thorp got pregnant — and pregnant again.

July 04, 2016

It’s a widely abused practice that was imposed on America by past state legislatures and the federal government. Civil asset forfeiture has been used to take innocent people’s property for decades, and is perhaps better known as “legal plunder.”

As such, there’s nothing particularly “civil” about civil asset forfeiture, and a California state senator wants to do something about that in the Golden State.

June 29, 2016

SACRAMENTO — A drug reform bill lauded by many as a prudent step towards reducing the mass incarceration of low-level, non-violent drug offenders failed passage today in the California Legislature.

SB 966, which would have repealed the ability of district attorneys to tack additional sentence enhancements on prior low-level drug crimes, failed the Assembly Public Safety committee on a 3-2 vote, with 2 members abstaining. Four aye votes are needed for passage.

Sen. Holly Mitchell.

June 23, 2016


By Senator Holly. J. Mitchell Exclusive to the Los Angeles Sentinel

June 22, 2016


*Thanks in huge part to the efforts put forth by California State Senator, Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who led the fight to do away with the policy that penalizes poor women (and their children) for having babies while on welfare, the law has been lifted.

by Brainuser1

June 16, 2016


By…The Times Editorial Board

As part of the $171-billion budget deal struck by California lawmakers, a failed 20-year experiment in social engineering that tried to discourage poor women from having babies while on welfare will finally be abandoned.