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44 Years Later, Redd Comes Home – An Inside Account



By Ruby Wilks

At age 63 and during a pandemic, Paul Redd begins to build his life outside of prison after 44 years of incarceration.

A succinct but impassioned summary of Redd’s experience in the system can be found on his lawyer Danielle Harris’ Twitter feed.

But the gist is: back in 1975, a San Francisco jury found then 19-year-old Oakland resident Redd guilty of first-degree murder of a local drug dealer, and he was subsequently sentenced to seven years to life in prison.

One of the two other men arrested for the same crime pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and testified at trial that Redd committed the murder. For this deal, he served no time in jail or prison whatsoever.

This man’s testimony was the only evidence against Redd, who has maintained his innocence since the beginning.

Redd spent more than 30 of his 44 years of incarceration in solitary confinement. He was kept alone in a concrete, windowless, poorly-ventilated cell for between 22 and 24 hours a day.

“Paul lived in conditions that were at the time the worst prison conditions in the United States,” said Charles Carbone, a prisoner rights attorney who represented Paul and other inmates in a class action lawsuit.

Paul, said the attorney, was forced to live in an environment “designed to maximize sensory deprivation, designed to basically maximize mental suffering, pain, and anguish, and for individuals to mentally decompensate as a consequence.”

Prison officials claimed to place Paul in the SHU because, despite a lack of any real evidence, they deemed him a Black Guerilla Family affiliate.

More likely, Redd was subjected to the SHU because of his prison reform work and because of his possession of political writings and materials, not because of any prison gang-related activity.

This all-too-common practice, termed at the time “gang validations,” gave CDCR the legal license to place people in solitary confinement for decades on end, not based on any overt criminal or unlawful activity, but because of a supposed gang association.

And “association” could be as simple as “having artwork or a book that supposedly had gang connotations associated with it, talking in a law library, [or] communicating through mail with people who supposedly had gang connections, even if you’re talking about the most innocuous, ordinary incident,” pointed out Carbone.

During his time in Pelican Bay’s Secured Housing Unit, Redd participated in the 2011 and 2013 hunger strikes making national news and demanding attention to the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement.

He later became a plaintiff in a prisoner-led class action lawsuit, Ashker v. Newsom (2015), that, among other reforms, ended indeterminate solitary confinement and the practice of “gang validations” in California prisons.

Despite serious weaknesses in the case against him, his impressive prison record and resume, his serious health conditions, and his solid re-entry plan, he was denied parole more than 18 times before he lost count.

Through this writer’s work with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office’s Post-Conviction Unit, I had the opportunity to speak with Redd about his experience with release through PC § 1170(d)—a new pathway to resentencing and release outside of parole boards—and with re-entry into society.

When Redd first heard that his lawyers would not be pursuing a Franklin hearing—where an attorney asks for a recall to present youth-related mitigating factors that were not introduced at the original sentencing—he was disappointed.

However, a few days later, when San Francisco Public Defender Danielle Harris came to visit him and explained that they were, instead, pursuing release through 1170(d), he cried tears of joy.

Redd was hopeful about this new path to freedom, but he was also skeptical. As the COVID-19 pandemic widely delayed court hearings, he feared that his 1170(d) would get pushed back.

Harris, however, was undeterred. She quickly began to assemble a package, strengthened by supporting letters from nurses, psychologists, and others who worked in a prison hospice center with Redd. Harris then submitted the package to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin recommended the court recall Redd’s sentence.

“I want people out now,” said Harris. “I feel like every day is a miracle that all our clients who are in prison survive.”

By mid-May of 2020, Redd said, “we had a conference call with the judge, and everything else is history. The judge vacated my murder conviction, gave me manslaughter credit for time served, and ordered I be released immediately. Within four or five days, I walked out of Vacaville.”

Stressing the importance of legislation and progressive district attorneys, Harris explained: “There are two things that made Paul’s release possible. Number one, 1170(d) was amended in 2018 to give the District Attorney in the county of conviction power to recommend resentencing to the court, whereas, previously, the only actor with power was CDCR and, until recently, they weren’t really using that power at all.

“The second thing that happened is that San Francisco voters elected Chesa Boudin,” Harris added.

Prison guards only allowed Redd’s lawyer, Harris, to meet him at the CMF prison gate, so Paul’s family and the rest of his legal support team, along with several camera crews, welcomed him home at a nearby park.

After Redd’s release, Harris helped him connect with the Five Keys Re-Entry Program in Oakland, California. The program staff is helping Redd get his Social Security, Medical, medication, and driver’s license in order.

Redd speaks highly of his experience with the Five Keys Re-Entry Program thus far. As he put it, “The program seems to be geared towards helping people re-enter society and get back into the community.”

During our phone conversation, Redd briefly transferred to a different line to take an incoming call from the Five Keys Program, who were calling to check in on him.

In addition to programmatic support, Redd has a strong family network and has developed meaningful personal and professional relationships inside and outside of prison.

Redd’s niece and nephew have helped him get a picture ID, look for housing, fill out a variety of applications, navigate unfamiliar technology, and get from place to place with their car.

While in the process of securing his own apartment, Redd has been living with his nephew. Redd recently met with the manager of an apartment building. He told me the meeting went well and that the manager provided him with an application. The problem is, the application requires one to have a good credit score.

“I don’t have any credit. I don’t have bad credit, nor good credit—which, I guess, that, in that sense, is good,” Redd explained. He continued, “My nephew is going to help me get a secured card, so I can start working on establishing credit.”

Redd’s criminal justice reform work and reputation as a jailhouse lawyer resulted in multiple job offers upon his release. He ultimately decided to accept an offer from American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Oakland, a social justice and activism organization.

Redd intimated a sense of loyalty towards AFSC since, for years, staff members have been letting him know that he could work there upon his release.

Although COVID-19 complications have made starting his job tricky, Redd plans to begin his work at AFSC soon and is looking forward to learning about the technological world he has been excluded from during his decades in prison.

Since his release, Redd has also received an invitation to help create a cancer support group at the San Francisco Transitional Clinic.

In 2015, Redd found out he had a tumor on the top of his right lung and was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Battling cancer inspired Redd to create a cancer support group in California Medical Facility in Vacaville, where he was quickly beloved by the patients, nurses, and staff.

As Redd explained, “It took me two and a half years to get the Vacaville cancer support group started. But once it got started, a lot of the cancer patients that joined the group were glad that it happened because now they finally had someone to talk to who experienced what they experienced going through chemo. So, I would like to continue that out here if possible.”

The group at the Transitional Clinic will likely begin via Zoom.

Since his release, Redd has been focusing on his health. His age and medical history place him in the high-risk group for COVID-19. His lengthy prison sentence has weighed heavy on his health. While at the California Medical Facility, for instance, Redd’s CPAP machine, which he uses for his sleep apnea, was taken because prison officials claimed that it can spread the virus around in the cells.

“Right now,” said Redd, “I’m just trying to feel my way around and make sure I’m getting everything in order, so I can take care of my diabetes. Since I’ve been out, it’s been out of whack. I used to have to be on a schedule. Now that I’m out of prison, I don’t have that schedule because I don’t have my own place, so hopefully I can get my own place and get my schedule back into place and then get my sugar levels back down to normal. I want to enroll in a gym, so I start working out again.”

Redd was given a 30-day supply of his medication when he was released. Now that his Medi-Cal application went through, he informed me that he will be able to start chemotherapy sessions out of custody.

When I asked Redd if he received mental health support during his incarceration, he responded, “none, none at all.”

When Redd re-entered the general prison population after spending 30 plus years in the SHU, he was not provided with any mental health services.

Redd is still baffled that he, and many others, can do 30 to 40 years in the SHU and come back into the general prison population without ever speaking with a mental health expert or even having someone “just ask how you’re doing,” as Redd said.

When he later sought out mental health support at CMF, he was told that since he was not on psych medication—“what they call triple CMS,” he told me—he wouldn’t be provided with mental health assistance.

So, Redd was forced to rely on his own devices. He used his “ability to socialize and to communicate with people” to aid his transition into the general population. On the outside, Redd continues to rely on the skills and mental strength he developed to survive in the SHU.

When asked how Paul managed to remain hopeful after decades of injustice, rejection, and denials, Carbone stated, “Paul’s humanity expanded as a consequence of being treated like an animal. And that’s a rare individual, who’s put in a cage in isolation who can come out and be even more kind, more approachable, more engaging—and that’s the rarity of Paul Redd.”

In Harris’ words, “He’s a really special person. Paul’s story writes itself. His resume is incredible.”

“As to how Paul survived and managed to thrive in the way that he did,” continued Harris, “I have no idea. I’m sure I wouldn’t have fared as well as he did under those conditions. One thing our systems of torture have proven is that human begins are so incredibly adaptable, and I’m constantly amazed by it.

“We did not find a broken person. We did not find a person who is uncomfortable with human connection. We found a warm and kind and generous person who loves life and people,” Harris explained, referencing the first time she met Redd in prison.

Redd’s prison reform work will continue now that he is out. He hopes to help others find a way to freedom through 1170(d). Additionally, he has some organizing in the works.

“One, I want to see if I can put together a team to work with me to file a class action lawsuit for money damages for all those decades they kept us in solitary confinement, like they did. It contributed to a lot of our health problems today—the sleep apnea, the cancer, etc.”

“The second thing I want to do,” continued Redd, “is to talk to a couple oncologists because I want to file another class action lawsuit on behalf of cancer patients that I believe developed cancer from asbestos exposure.” Redd has reason to believe that his cancer could have been caused by asbestos in the prisons.

As San Francisco Public Defender Danielle Harris wrote so perfectly in a Tweet about Redd, “Despite every effort made to break this man, he would not break.”

Redd’s resilience, his determination to advocate for justice on behalf of himself and similarly-situated others, and the strong support system inside and outside of prison walls that he has built and maintained can teach us a lot about how re-entry can work.

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What’s the Cost of Having a Bad Credit Rating?



In the past, a credit rating was only important when borrowing money. Things have changed, but a good rating is still free

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Q: My partner and I are having a disagreement about credit ratings. We came into a little bit of money and it’s enough to either pay off our line of credit or save for a special trip as soon as we can travel again safely. My partner says we should pay off our credit line so that we not only have a cushion, but it will help our credit rating. He’s really concerned because when he was in university and had some trouble with debt, he felt like his bad situation only got worse because he had bad credit. I think that with so many people having lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the consequences of having a bad credit rating right now won’t be that bad because we’re all facing the same thing. We are due a honeymoon and I want to save the money for a trip because it’s the only way we’ll ever be able to go. Who’s right? ~Ross

A: Credit ratings are one of those things that most Canadians would like to know more about, but the more they learn, the more questions they have. And answers often aren’t straightforward due to the complexity of the credit scoring system. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t commend you and your partner for having these conversations about your finances. Even if you can’t agree on everything, just talking about possible options is already more than what many couples are able to do.


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When it comes to financial decisions and debates about credit, it’s best if I steer clear of taking sides. Most of us know there are hidden perks when we have good credit; but having bad credit, it can cost us in ways we never realized. To help you both achieve a win-win, here are things to consider as you make decisions for your financial future.

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The perks of having a good credit rating

A good credit rating allows a lender to offer you a better interest rate and terms and conditions. It can make you eligible for a low-interest credit card. When you’re buying a new car at a dealership and your credit score is very high, the financing incentives can include zero per cent interest with payments spread out over an additional year or two.

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When it comes to a mortgage, a high credit rating can result in added buying power with steeply discounted interest rates and a slight easing of qualification criteria. A solid credit rating means you are able to obtain a new cellphone with a plan on contract, rather than having to pay for a device yourself first. It means your home utilities will be connected without an upfront deposit. A good credit rating means you don’t have to worry you’ll be declined whenever someone requests that you consent to a credit check.

How to Get Your Own Credit Report for Free

What does it cost to have a bad credit rating?

As you may be able to guess, a bad credit rating will limit you in terms of how much money you are able to borrow, what interest rates you’ll be charged, and what the repayment terms and conditions will be. When your credit score drops below a certain point, you are no longer eligible for low-interest credit cards and credit card instalment offers for larger purchases. Your interest rate will even go up by as much as five per cent if your credit card payments are late. Unsecured lines of credit may not be available at reasonable interest rates, if at all, and other restrictions — e.g., co-signers, guarantors or collateral — might be necessary for other types of loans.


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How to Get Out of Debt With Bad Credit

The impact of a bad credit rating on mortgage payments

When it comes to a mortgage, a credit report with a few small collection items and a record of late payments could add as much as two additional percentage points to the interest rate. That will not only decrease your buying power, it will dramatically affect how much interest you pay over the term of the mortgage.

For example, a $350,000 mortgage with a payment based on two per cent (five-year term, 25-year amortization), the base monthly payment would be $1,482. Over the course of the five-year term, this mortgage holder would pay $32,120 in interest, along with payments on the principal.

If this same borrower would have to make payments based on four per cent instead of two, the base monthly payments would increase by $359 to $1,841 and the interest paid over the five-year term would more than double to $65,153! The additional interest takes money away from being able to afford other goals. Here’s a simple mortgage payment calculator to try calculations for your own circumstances.

A bad credit rating affects more than credit applications

It used to be that a credit rating was only important when you applied to borrow money, but things have changed. A poor credit check could cost someone their dream job. Many employers ask potential employees to consent to a credit check as part of the hiring process. While they screen for a number of criteria, if someone has filed for bankruptcy, it could preclude them from working in certain industries.


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Landlords also routinely ask potential tenants to consent to credit checks as part of the screening process. Those who have trouble paying their bills on time could have trouble paying their rent. Landlords may also fear that someone with prior obligations, e.g., significant vehicle payments or family maintenance arrears, might not be able to afford the rent along with their living costs.

How to Convince a Landlord to Rent to You

As financial institutions do as well, it’s up to each landlord and employer to interpret the credit checks based on their own criteria. This means that if you need to explain your situation, it might be best to do it before they check your credit.

What does it cost to have a good credit rating?

With all the drawbacks that come with having a bad credit rating, you might wonder what it costs to have a good rating. A good credit rating doesn’t cost you anything — and it will save you money in the long run. All that’s required is that you engage in positive credit behaviours. Here are five tips to do just that:

1. Make your payments on time

On-time payments can be for the full amount that’s owing, or the required minimum payment. One of the most significant ways to protect your credit rating is to pay at least your minimums on time every month. In order to do this, you need to live according to a realistic budget and spend below your means so you’ve got enough money to bring down what you owe.

2. Plan for the unexpected – watch your credit utilization rates

Any balances you do carry on credit cards and lines of credit, aim to keep them below about 65 per cent of the limit on each account. That way if something unforeseen happens, you’re not left in the lurch trying to make bigger payments than you can reasonably afford.


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3. Demonstrate how you manage during the good times and the bad

Time provides a true picture for how responsible someone is with their money and credit. Aim to keep one older account active so a potential lender can see how you manage your affairs. If you’ve had some late payments within the last six to seven years, if they are still reflected on your credit report, they will be less significant than all of the more recent payments you have made on time to recover from the past difficulties.

It’s natural in life to hit some financial bumps, and the longer you use credit the more likely it is that there will be some reflected on your credit report. Some ways of dealing with financial trouble wipe the slate clean, which is why lenders look at your overall financial picture as part of a credit application. A balanced approach tends to be the strongest: spending within your means and based on a steady source of income, using credit wisely, managing routine payments and obligations, saving in proportion to your level of income, and having some assets to show for your spending. It raises red flags if someone has been actively using credit for a number of years, but their credit report offers no meaningful information about their credit accounts.

4. Only keep and apply for the credit that you actually need

We all know that person who has so many credit cards in their wallet that it hardly closes. But a lot of credit doesn’t necessarily mean they have a good credit rating. In fact, it could signal a problem. Only apply for credit that you actually need and will use.


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Pay off and close any accounts you don’t use regularly and don’t really need. This protects you from giving in to temptation simply because you have credit available to you. It also protects you from fraudulent activity on an account you don’t use regularly. The first thing a fraudster would do is change your address and contact details so you don’t get their bills. By the time you’ve caught on to their spending spree, the damage could be done.

5. Not all credit is created equal

When there isn’t much to report on your credit file, potential lenders and interested parties might look more closely at the types of debts you do have. Different types of credit shed light on how you handle your money overall. For example, deferred interest or payment plans can indicate you aren’t able to save up for purchases ahead of time. Consolidation loans mean you’ve had difficulty paying your debts in the past. A line of credit is a revolving form of credit, like a credit card, and it’s easier to get into trouble with a revolving form of credit than with an instalment loan, where you make payments for a set period of time and then it’s paid in full.

How to deal with debt and save for a goal

When faced with a sum of money you weren’t expecting, consider how to make it work hardest for you toward your most meaningful goals. Pay off an expensive debt and then keep making the payments you were making on that debt into a savings account instead. You’ll save money on interest by paying off the debt offand also be able to save up for an important goal. This is a particularly effective strategy when interest rates on saving accounts are as low as they are now.


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Should I Pay Off Debt or Save Money?

If you have more money than what’s needed to pay off an expensive debt, consider whether it’s better to pay down another debt with the leftover sum, or to jump-start a savings account with it. If you have quite a few debts to take care of and not enough money to pay them all off, consider how best to use the sum you received while employing the snowball or avalanche method of debt repayment. Just be sure to execute your debt repayment plan within a realistic budget that also accounts for some savings. That will protect you from relying on credit and seeing your progress evaporate should you face an unexpected expense.

The bottom line on what your credit rating means

The best things in life are free, and this certainly applies to having a good credit rating — especially when you consider how painfully expensive the alternative is. No one thinks about what a bad credit rating will cost until they’re faced with the consequences. Only by then, it’s often too late to turn things around quickly. While negative information on your credit report is frustrating, with some patience and corrective steps, time is on your side to (re)build an excellent credit rating.

Related reading:

7 Things That Are Not on Your Credit Report

What are Your Bad Habits Really Costing You?

5 Credit Myths Debunked and What to Do Instead

Scott Hannah is president of the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit organization. For more information about managing your money or debt, contact Scott byemail, check nomoredebts.orgor call 1-888-527-8999.


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Fixed-rate student loan refinancing rates do not budge from record low set last week



Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

The latest trends in interest rates for student loan refinancing from the Credible marketplace, updated weekly. (iStock)

Rates for well-qualified borrowers using the Credible marketplace to refinance student loans into 10-year fixed-rate loans continue to stick at record lows during the week of May 10, 2021.

For borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher who used the Credible marketplace to select a lender during the week of May 10:

  • Rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans averaged 3.60%, the same as the week before and down from 4.35% a year ago. This marks the second week that rates have not budged from 3.60%, the record low set last week.
  • Rates on 5-year variable-rate loans averaged 3.18%, down from 3.19% the week before and up from 3.03% a year ago. Variable-rate loans recorded a record low of 2.63% during the week of June 29, 2020.

Student loan refinancing weekly rate trends

If you’re curious about what kind of student loan refinance rates you may qualify for, you can use an online tool like Credible to compare options from different private lenders. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Current student loan refinancing rates by FICO score

To provide relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest and payments on federal student loans have been suspended through at least Sept. 30, 2021. As long as that relief is in place, there’s little incentive to refinance federal student loans. But many borrowers with private student loans are taking advantage of the low interest rate environment to refinance their education debt at lower rates.

If you qualify to refinance your student loans, the interest rate you may be offered can depend on factors like your FICO score, the type of loan you’re seeking (fixed or variable rate) and the loan repayment term. 

The chart above shows that good credit can help you get a lower rate and that rates tend to be higher on loans with fixed interest rates and longer repayment terms. Because each lender has its own method of evaluating borrowers, it’s a good idea to request rates from multiple lenders so you can compare your options. A student loan refinancing calculator can help you estimate how much you might save.

If you want to refinance with bad credit, you may need to apply with a cosigner. Or you can work on improving your credit before applying. Many lenders will allow children to refinance parent PLUS loans in their own name after graduation.

You can use Credible to compare rates from multiple private lenders at once without affecting your credit score.

How rates for student loan refinancing are determined

The rates private lenders charge to refinance student loans depend in part on the economy and interest rate environment but also the loan term, the type of loan (fixed- or variable-rate), the borrower’s credit worthiness and the lender’s operating costs and profit margin. 

About Credible

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that empowers consumers to discover financial products that are the best fit for their unique circumstances. Credible’s integrations with leading lenders and credit bureaus allow consumers to quickly compare accurate, personalized loan options ― without putting their personal information at risk or affecting their credit score. The Credible marketplace provides an unrivaled customer experience, as reflected by over 4,300 positive Trustpilot reviews and a TrustScore of 4.7/5.

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Bad credit loan guaranteed approval online (In a business day)



Bad credit loan guaranteed approval

(YourDigitalWall Editorial):- Pennsylvania , United States May 10, 2021 ( – Do you have bad credit? But in need of money? You can still get a bad credit loan guaranteed approval from various websites.

Bad Credit Loans is one of the websites, which has been in the business of helping people. They make it simple for consumers to get the funds they are looking for online.

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They can help connect you to lenders that offer loans that may work for you. Their lender network includes state and Tribal lenders. Tribal lenders’ rates and fees may be higher than state-licensed lenders and are subject to federal and tribal laws, not state laws. Your credit history may impact whether a lender offers you a loan and the terms of your loan, but some lenders in our network may offer loans to borrowers with all types of credit.

Bad Credit makes it amazingly simple to check online whether you qualify for the loan. You just need to fill the convenient online form and will receive an offer in a few minutes from the network of lenders and financial service providers.

If your loan gets approved, funds will get deposited into your bank account electronically deposited in one business day. The loan offer you receive is free to use, and you are not obligated to accept the offer if you are not willing to.

With Bad credit loan, the best part is your credit need not be perfect to consider for a bad credit loan as even with poor credit you can still qualify for the loan while meeting the following requirements:

  • The Minimum age must be of 18 years.
  • Proof of documentation-proof of citizenship or social security number.
  • Regular income-full-time, part-time, self-employed, disabled, social security benefits (anyone).
  • Checking account in your name.
  • Telephone numbers-residence and work
  • A valid email address

Apply now and get a $5000 bad credit loan guaranteed approval






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(YourDigitalWall Editorial):- Sydney, New South Wales May 10, 2021 ( – xbullion has announced its listing on the global trading exchange Bitrue. xbullion’s gold token, ticker GOLD, is secured by 1 gram of 9999/LBMA physical gold which is physically owned by the token holder. The gold is secured in best-of-class geo- disbursed […]

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