Annual Community Luncheon Aug. 15

Jeanne WoodfordJeanne Woodford will speaks on Criminal Justice in California on Thursday, August 15, 2013, 11:30 am-1:30 pm at Hs Lordships, Berkeley.

Jeanne Woodford, former Warden at San Quentin State Prison and Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, will headline the League’s Fourteenth Annual Community Luncheon. Ms. Woodford was the Executive Director of Death Penalty Focus, an organization that joined the League in working for abolition of the death penalty in California at the last election.  She also holds the post of Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute of Law and Social Policy at the Berkeley School of Law. The title of her talk will be “Criminal Justice in California: The Politics of Improving Public Safety”.

Ms. Woodford worked her way up in the criminal justice system. A graduate in 1978 from Sonoma State with a degree in criminal justice, she was hired soon after to work as a correctional officer at San Quentin. Governor Gray Davis appointed her Warden, and in 2004 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made her Director of the California Department of Corrections. In 2005, her title was changed to Undersecretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In her many years working within the prison system and overseeing four executions as San Quentin’s Warden, she realized that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, as it is neither swift nor certain. It is also very expensive — since 1978 the state has spent an estimated $4 billion to execute 13 inmates. There are now 714 inmates awaiting execution in California. She retired from CDCR in 2008. She headed, until recently, Death Penalty Focus, one of the organizations that worked with the League in last fall’s general election in support of Proposition 34, which would have repealed the death penalty, and which failed by 3 percentage points.

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