UC Berkeley's Behind Bars

About Us

We spent the summer in and out of prison.

For 10 weeks, we talked to inmates, their families and the officials who tie together the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Why? Because California has the largest prison population in the country, with nearly 170,000 prisoners, and 70 percent of them return to prison every year. We are 14 journalists from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of Nebraska and City University London. Based in Berkeley, we followed our curiosity and reported on the stories that best portray the convict cycle. Eight tubs of candy, endless cups of coffee and one website later, we launched.

See some of the stories we’ve written, and where we’ve been published.

Alexa Vaughn

Alexa Vaughn is a freelance reporter who has worked as an assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com and a news reporter for the Antelope Valley Press in her hometown of Palmdale. She's now entering her final year at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Amanda Dyer

Amanda Dyer recently graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in multimedia and radio reporting. She's held internships at National Public Radio and KQED FM and previously worked as a daily print reporter. She also texts exclusively in AP style.

Angela Kilduff

Angela Kilduff has a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Her radio, print and multimedia work has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, The Bay Citizen, The East Bay Express and Webby Award-winning Mission Local.

Armand Emamdjomeh

Armand Emamdjomeh has a master's degree in photojournalism from UC Berkeley. Originally an international relief worker, Armand was a reporter and editor at Mission Local, and had the highlight of his summer when he finally had chicken fried bacon with buffalo sauce.

Elizabeth Peirce

Elizabeth Peirce is a web designer and developer from the Boston area. She holds a bachelor's degree in media arts and sciences from Wellesley College and is nearly finished with a master's degree in electronic publishing from City University London.

Guilherme Kfouri

Guilherme Kfouri is a multimedia junkie who has recently finished his master's degree in business and financial journalism at City University London. His main field of expertise is video editing, skills he acquired as a TV producer in Brazil. His journalistic motto? "Adapt or die!"

Helene Goupil

Helene Goupil just graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She co-authored "San Francisco: The Unknown City," has worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, and an assistant editor at a travel and culture magazine.

Isabella Cota

A communications major, Isabella Cota holds a master's degree in journalism and globalization and is specialized in business and financial reporting. She's worked in print and radio in the Netherlands and the US as well as her native Mexico.

Jeremy Rue

Jeremy Rue is a lecturer who co-teaches the News21 project at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He oversees the multimedia instruction and production of the project.

Jude Joffe-Block

Jude Joffe-Block is a reporter from Berkeley. She is a recent graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where she focused on radio and new media. She has produced multimedia content for the Associated Press in Mexico.

Karen McIntyre

Karen McIntyre is a second-year student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Originally from Lake Tahoe, she has worked for daily print and online media outlets in California and abroad.

Matt Buxton

Matt Buxton is a journalist and front-end web developer who recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After spending the year as editor-in-chief of his college paper, he's happy to get back into storytelling. This fall, he will start as a reporting intern for The Oregonian.

Matthew Caruana Galizia

A web developer by trade, Matthew Caruana Galizia is an Erasmus Mundus Journalism master's graduate from City University in London. He has worked in the Netherlands, Jordan, Switzerland and China, and studied in London, Amsterdam, Aarhus and Malta.

Robert Rogers

Robert Rogers is a former Southern California newspaper reporter who studies radio and new media at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Rogers holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

Steve Saldivar

Steve Saldivar received his master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is a multimedia journalist specializing in photography and video for the web. He was a reporter with Mission Local, focusing on reporting on immigration issues and emerging communities. When he isn't reporting, he is curating content on the web- separating the awesome from the duds.

William Drummond

William Drummond grew up in West Oakland, where many of his classmates went on to be guests of the state's celebrated correctional institutions. Instead of a life of crime, Drummond turned to journalism, but fantasized about the road not taken.