Presidential Award

Beyond Repair: 132 Years of Brutality in CA’s Youth Prisons

To read a review of this event, see Volume 2 of The Annual Review of Criminal Justice Studies (

On October 26th, 2023, the Department of Criminal Justice Studies and the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) hosted a film screening and panel discussion on the abusive history of California’s failed youth prison system. Together, we screened a portion of the documentary Tattooed Tears, which was filmed inside of the Youth Training School in Chino, CA in 1979. (Click the link below to watch the documentary). 

We also had an intergenerational panel discussion with former wards of the state on their experiences inside California’s youth prisons and the powerful work they are doing now for juvenile justice and policy advocacy. Those with experiential knowledge of these punitive systems are who we should be listening to as we attempt to imagine new futures beyond youth incarceration and towards investment.  

Finally, we also had historical photos available in the space. Below is a link to a slideshow with some of the photos we had on display at the event, along with some information for context. These photos are from CJCJ’s archive of historical documents and photos from these institutions.  

Thank you to our guest panelists: Edgar Ibarra Gutierrez, Claudia J. Gonzalez, Daniel Macallair, and Israel Villa for sharing with us their wisdom and experience. Thank you also to everyone who attended in person and on Zoom. We appreciate your attention and sensitivity to the subject. Thanks again to our partners and colleagues for their attendance and support. Special thanks to Kai Quach for the logistical and catering support. And thank you to Dr. Albert de la Tierra (“Professor Lobo”) and Tina Curiel for organizing this event.  


Event Program: 

Tattooed Tears Documentary: 

Beyond Repair Slideshow: 

Stay tuned for more events like this in the future: 


Prof. Rodriguez interviewed about the BART police killing of Oscar Grant, and the social justice movement that followed

Associate professor César “che” Rodríguez was recently interviewed by Millennials are Killing Capitalism, a long-form interview podcast series that features critical scholarship produced by organizers and intellectuals. 

This interview revolves around Rodriguez’ article, titled "Oscar Did Not Die in Vain": Revelous Citizen Journalism, Righteous/Riotous Work, and the Gains of the Oscar Grant Moment in Oakland, California”, which was published in Social Justice.

In this text, Rodriguez demonstrates how popular mobilizations in Oakland, CA during the “Oscar Grant moment” (circa January 2009) disrupted the cultural strategies and legal protections that create impunity for law enforcement officers and agencies responsible for extrajudicial police killings. This resulted in the historic incarceration of a law enforcement officer (ex BART police officer Johannes Mehserle) for the on-duty killing of Oscar Grant, a young Black father from Hayward, CA. Furthermore, this article illustrates how these popular mobilizations forced brief public transparency and reforms of a local law enforcement agency (BART PD). 

This is a two (2) part interview, and the links are included below.

Part 1 | “Record the Noise” - César “che” Rodríguez on Racial Regimes and Blues Epistemology in the Lead-up to the Oscar Grant Moment

Part 2 | "Popular Coercion From Below" - César "che" Rodríguez on Why Oscar Grant Did Not Die in Vain


Dr. Carina Gallo Receives SF State Presidential Award

Congratulations to Dr. Carina Gallo, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Studies, for receiving the San Francisco State University’s Presidential Award! Awardees are granted one semester leave with full pay to undertake research (Spring 2021).

Dr. Gallo will collect data for a research project on Gruvberget in Sweden; an open correctional institution that provides recreation and vacation for incarcerated people. Gruvberget was founded in 1972 and can be considered an “exceptional” prison because it reflected an ideal where incarcerated people, like other members of society, had rights to recreation and vacation. Gruvberget consists of small houses nestled within a pristine natural setting close to forests and lakes. Incarcerated people can apply for temporary two-week placement at the institution to participate in courses focused on sports, parenting, fishing, etc. Despite significant changes in Swedish politics, where welfare policy has become more restrictive and penal policy, to some degree, more punitive, Gruvberget still exists today. This project will add to the literature by providing a rich analysis of Gruvberget in a changing landscape of crime policy in Sweden. The project is significant, not only because it fills a gap in research and can undo myths about policies in the Nordic countries, but it can also be used to improve crime policies in the United States. California’s correctional system needs reform and innovative alternatives to current strategies. The establishment of Gruvberget serves as an example of an extremely rehabilitative-oriented policy.