Mobilize Tomorrow with No New SF Jail Coalition!

Thank you for continuing to oppose jail expansion in San Francisco alongside the No New SF Jail Coalition. Despite community opposition, at last Thursday’s budget and finance committee meeting, the Sheriff’s $70 million state application for the jail renovation project was moved forward to the full Board of Supervisors.

The proposal for jail renovation funding will be voted on TOMORROWFeb. 14thSFPoster

Last week we learned that the proposal includes an increase of 8 beds and the cell structure will be modified from open pods to locked cells. Additionally, the Sheriff proposes to move prisoners either to one of the jails that SF has already committed to closing or to other counties like Alameda County while the renovation takes place.

Join us tomorrow?

When: Tuesday, February 14th at 2 p.m.

Where: S.F. City Hall, Main Supervisors’ Chambers, Room 250 Read the rest of Mobilize Tomorrow with No New SF Jail Coalition! »

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SF: Demand Transparency & Accountability from the Board of Supervisors

Dear CURB Supporters,

We need genuine efforts to stop imprisoning people in San Francisco and we need these efforts to moves as quickly as jail funding! Join the No New SF Jail Coalition at City Hall thisThursday, Feb. 9th, to demand transparency about the jail renovation proposal. We must ensure there will be no increased control or isolation in jail!

With the impending closure of the jail at 850 Bryant St due to community pressure, Sheriff Vicki Hennessey has introduced a resolution to apply for state funding to renovate the neighboring county jail facility at 425 7th St. Despite a hefty price tag of $70 million in state funds, and $12 million from the city, her resolution to apply for State funding for jail renovation is on the fast track through the Board of Supervisors.

As the Sheriff’s resolution moves to the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee, we still don’t know the details of the renovation and to what degree it will affect the city’s capacity to lock people up. The No New SF Jail Coalition’s main concern is that this funding could increase the levels of surveillance and isolation, or further restrict the movement for prisoners within the existing jail. And with community programs in constant need of steady funding, we need to know that the Supervisors are not signing away funding without knowing exactly what renovations would entail.

Join us at the Budget and Finance Committee to demand transparency and accountability!

When: Thursday, February 9th at 10 a.m.

Where: S.F. City Hall, Main Supervisors’ Chambers, Room 250

This may be the only opportunity we will have for public comment on the Sheriff’s jail funding application. Let’s make sure that the City of San Francisco is accountable and transparent to our communities!

See you at City Hall!

In solidarity,

The No New SF Jail Coalition

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Thank You! Follow Up from the Santa Rita Jail Noise Demo

Brick by brick, wall by wall – we will make these cages fall!

Greetings jail fighters, ACJF_NoiseDemo1

It’s been two weeks since our noise demo at Santa Rita jail, and we are still feeling the energy and power that was generated that evening! Over 60 people joined together with pots, pans, trumpets, and drums to send prayers, songs, and chants over the walls of Santa Rita jail to those imprisoned there.

Emile DeWeaver, a comrade inside San Quentin who heard about the noise demo, sent this message earlier last week, and it was shouted across the barbed wire and concrete:

“You have power. The biggest lie I ever bought was believing that because I’m in prison, I’m powerless. They treat you like shit to accustom you to feeling powerless; they hope you will confuse that feeling with actually being powerless. You are not.

…Your humanity is one of your greatest weapons, your resilience, your dreams, and even your compassion. The state keeps you separate from the public, so they can feed the public whatever story about you they want. But if the public ever sees your humanity, it ruins the state’s stories about you. The jig is up, and the world has to face that you are just like them, and but for the grace of God, they would be just like you. You stay in this struggle and you will discover what a powerful weapon that is.

I have never met you, and I love you.”

ACJF_NoiseDemo3       ACJF_NoiseDemo2

Thank you to Indigo Mateo for MC-ing, Patricia Contreras Flores for the beautiful prayers, Pete Woiwode for leading chants, Brooke Anderson for photographing the event, and Oakland’s El Huarache Azteca for their amazing tamales that fueled the action! And special thanks to all those that came out on a drizzly Thursday evening to make some noise for community investment and inside-outside solidarity.

Two weeks ago the Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars on the architect who will design the new torture chamber for Santa Rita. The Alameda County Jail Fight is organizing with Alameda County’s Mental Health Advocacy Board to develop alternatives to imprisonment and build a plan to decarcerate Alameda County — we will keep you updated on those details, and let you know more ways to plug in as that project progresses!

If you are interested in joining the fight, there are 2 ways to plug in immediately:

1. Outreach:

The Alameda County Jail Fight Coalition is continuing to do jail outreach on Friday evenings and Saturdays mornings during visiting hours. Check out this document to sign up for an outreach shift, and an on-point person will reach out to you to coordinate rides and provide a brief orientation to our outreach work.

2. Come to our weekly coalition meetings.

Check out our Facebook page or email tash@ellabakercenter.org to join our listserv for weekly meeting announcements.

In the meantime, we urge you to contact your Supervisor to let them know you disagree with their decision to fund the expansion of Santa Rita jail. Let them know that mental health in a jail is an oxymoron, and county funds belong in community services, not in jails.

Supervisor contact numbers (Not sure what district you live in? Check here.)

District 1: Scott Haggerty, (510) 272-6691
District 2: Richard Valle, (510) 271-5115
District 3: Wilma Chan, (510) 272-6693
District 4: Nate Miley, (510) 272-6694
District 5: Keith Carson, (510) 272-6695

Thank you again for all that you do in helping to build a world with community power and without cages.

In solidarity,

The Alameda County Jail Fight Coalition

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CURB’s Budget Overview

On January 10 I sat in a dining room in Victorville, a place where most voted to make America great again, I looked over Governor Brown’s proposed corrections budget hoping he’d propose to continue to support the progressive strategies. That he would focus on spending less on prisons and jails as part of his plan to cut spending under a Trump administration, instead he increased it by more than $500 million from last year to $13.8 billion.

I was deeply disappointed to see the continued fiscally wasteful attempts to build our way out of our reliance on cages. As a survivor of the prison industrial complex, what strikes most poignantly is that while little has been done to change the culture of violence among corrections staff, we continue to fund the growth of an organization that is not equipped to address systemic issues that drive recidivism, leading ultimately back to financial security and growth for both state and local corrections.

While there are disappointing pieces there are some points that are steps in the right direction. Some positive and challenging pieces to highlight in Brown’s proposal are:

  • Implementation of Prop 57, including broad expansion of Milestone credits.
  • Anticipated population reduction resulting from Prop 57 will close one of two remaining out of state facilities returning some closer to home.
  • Funding the construction of a “Leadership Academy”, a revamped version of the failed “college campus” design prison for young men.
  • Department of Finance estimates a net savings of $42.9 million from Prop. 47 and $22.4 million from Prop. 57.

See our full overview here.

These highlights are a mixed bag, but we know California can and must do better. We need continued investment in affordable housing including reducing barriers to those with criminal convictions to affordable housing, more investment in community reentry programs that are decoupled from the state and culturally competent, and better mental health care and access in communities. These are only a few of the many ways we can better use funds to provide for and protect our most at risk communities.

We will continue to keep creating better solutions by ensuring community voices are heard. You can stay informed by monitoring the #CABudget work that CURB is doing to push solutions. Now is a critical time in our history! It is even more imperative to stay involved and stay outspoken to uplift and protect our communities and loved ones — impacting the budget process is a strong way to do just that.

In love and solidarity,

Misty Rojo

Justice Now

A member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

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Webinar: We Are Not Disposable – The Toxic Impacts of Prisons and Jails

Join CURB on February 9th at 12pm for a webinar examining the environmental and social consequences of jail and prison construction in California.1

Prisons and jails are environmental health disasters — they are unhealthy for those locked inside them, for those who work there, for those living in the neighborhoods where the facility is located, and, as they produce toxins that spread into the wider environment, they ultimately harm us all. Unfortunately, 40 of California’s 58 counties are planning to expand their existing jail systems, and the state is taking its rst step toward renovating or replacing the state’s twelve oldest prisons.

This is occuring as the state enters its sixth consecutive year of drought. The environmental damage inflicted by the incarceration system is a threat to California’s public health.

During this webinar, community leaders who have been at the center of the intersection of environmental justice and anti-prison organizing. Experts will share their strategies, stories, victories, failures, and advice on how environmental justice organizations and anti-prison advocates can work together.

Panelists:

Laura Pulido, Professor of Ethinic Studies and and Geography at the University of Oregon
Craig Gilmore, California Prison Moratorium Project
Jayda Rasberry, Dignity and Power Now

Click here to register for the webinar.

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Coalition Demands Reductions to Prison Budget to Combat Impending Federal Funding Threats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 10, 2017

Coalition Demands Reductions to Prison Budget to Combat Impending Federal Funding Threats

MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Zuniga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Diana@curbprisonspending.org or 213.864.8931

Sacramento— This morning, Governor Brown released California’s 2017-18 proposed budget – a budget that increases total funding on corrections to $11.3 billion (2017-18), up from $10.6 billion last year (2016-17). The budget projects a decline of the adult prison population by .7% due to voter mandated criminal justice reforms such as Proposition 57. Despite a projected decline in the state prison population, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will continue it’s notorious trend of expanding prison capacity by pushing forward with the California Leadership Academy (CLA). According to the budget this new prison will house approximately 250 male prisoners between the ages of 18-26.

“Why is the prison budget continuing to rise, if the population is going down?” asks Misty Rojo of Justice Now. The budget estimates that Prop 57 will reduce the average daily population by approximately 2,000 in 2017-18 with result in net savings of $22.4 million in 2017-18, yet the total corrections budget increases by over nearly $1 billion. Rojo continues, “If we continue to waste state resources to expand our massive prison system with the California Leadership Academy, instead of redirecting savings to programs that defend basic human rights such as housing, healthcare and education, that state is only perpetuating the prison overcrowding crisis.”

At a time when other states like Pennsylvania are moving towards prison closures in response to mounting budget deficit, advocates are outraged that California continues to expand prison capacity under the guise of rehabilitation. California prisons, in addition to having a track record of abuse and corruption, have a long history of wasting water and polluting the environment. Last year’s budget included $5.4 million to evaluate the state’s twelve oldest prisons for possible renovation or replacement.

“Governor Brown claims that one of his top priorities is to protect the environment yet the CDCR has been responsible for spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage into rivers,” says Jayda Rasberry of Dignity and Power Now. “States throughout the nation are moving towards prison closure or repurposing efforts and it is way past time for California to follow suit. Elected officials can close prisons and save money by leaning on at least five years of reforms that has reduced the prison population by thousands. If the Governor wants to improve the environment, he can start by closing prisons and not build more like the California Leadership Academy.”

With the imminent ascension of president-elect Donald Trump, who has threatened to repeal federal reforms including Obamacare, experts believe that California will face dramatic cuts to the social safety net and could stands to lose $20 billion under the Affordable Care Act. “The Governor has already made it a priority to improve our crumbling infrastructure and protect the environment,” says Maribel Nunez from California Partnership. “In addition, he has been a vocal proponent of decarceration through his work on Prop 57. In a moment when federal pressure could lead to severe cuts to health and human services, as well as education, it seems like a no-brainer that funding should be cut from the state’s failing corrections budget to protect the social safety net. Now is the time for the Governor to take a stand against the racist and oppressive policies that will come down federally.”

The CURB coalition believes that to cover the high costs of rising medical care expenses, California should look to the state’s rising prison budget as the first place to make cuts, by continuing to pursue aggressive parole and sentencing reform efforts and to repeal all prison and jail expansion efforts.

CURB will be joining the California Partnership at a series of statewide press conferences to respond to today’s budget.

  • Los Angeles at 12pm – Ronald Reagan State Building (300 S. Spring St.)
  • San Francisco at 12:30pm – California State Building (355 McAllister St.)
  • San Bernardino at 11 am – San Bernardino City Hall (300 N. D St.)
  • Coachella at 11 am – Veterans Park (1515 Sixth St.)
  • Bakersfield at 3 pm – Kern County Liberty Bell (1415 Truxtun Ave.)

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CURB is looking for a Statewide Organizer and Intern!

We are excited to announce that CURB is looking for a full-time Statewide Organizer in Los Angeles and a Development Intern to join our team!

CURB is seeking a highly organized, passionate person to serve as its Statewide Organizer. The individual will be responsible for strengthening CURB’s profile and work by representing CURB in the media and at convenings, actions, conferences, meetings, coalitions, networks and other public events. This person will work directly with and be trained by the Statewide Coordinator. They will work collaboratively with CURB member organizations to meet CURB’s goals and vision and maintain CURB’s internal communications, infrastructure, stability, and health. This position will support CURB member organizations build grassroots power in California in order to stop prison and jail expansion and reduce the number of people imprisoned in our state.

The Development Internship will provide the opportunity to gain experience in research, outreach, grassroots organizing, media campaigns, coalition and movement building, public education, policy advocacy and social justice work. Working directly with the Statewide Coordinator and Organizer, the intern will have an opportunity to develop leadership and organizing skills while working alongside an amazing group of anti-prison activists.

Click here to view the full job descriptions, qualifications, and application requirements. Read the rest of CURB is looking for a Statewide Organizer and Intern! »

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JAIL FIGHT GOING UP ON TUESDAY

We got word late yesterday, that Alameda County is racing forward with a terrible plan next Tuesday to spend over $61 million taxpayer dollars to build a new “mental health unit” at Santa Rita Jail. We need you to say NO to jail expansion and YES to community-based mental health care. santa-rita-jail-fail

The Alameda Jail Fight Coalition has been organizing to stop the jail expansion for over a year, and we need you next Tuesday! Join us, January 10th to stop the Alameda Board of Supervisors from selecting a contractor to build the massive expansion project. We will continue the fight no matter what, but this may be one of the last opportunities to stop this ineffective and wasteful plan.

We critically need your support, to pressure the Supervisors to prioritize alternatives to meet Alameda’s urgent mental health-related needs. Bring your voice next Tuesday:

What: Mobilization to Demand the B.O.S. Vote Against Jail Expansion

When: Tuesday Jan. 10 at 10:30am

Where: 1221 Oak St, Oakland, CA. (Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, 5th floor) Read the rest of JAIL FIGHT GOING UP ON TUESDAY »

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Thank You for 2016! – Now let’s move into the #CAbudget!

Dear Supporter,

Thank you for standing with us in 2016. We appreciate all that you gave to CURB and look forward to taking this people power into 2017.

We are moving ahead quickly. Within the week, Governor Brown will unveil his proposed budget for 2017-2018, and CURB is ready.

This year, more than ever, we need to demand that our state government invest in California’s future, not our cages. We know that Sacramento’s decisions on how to distribute state funds have profound and immediate consequences for our communities’ lives and wellbeing. No matter what Gov. Brown proposes for the next year, CURB is committed to fighting for a just and moral budget, one that will direct resources towards social services, and away from prisons and policing.

Be on the lookout for our 2017-2018 Budget Analysis, where we will comb through Brown’s proposed budget and find out what we’ll be up against in the coming months. Last year, despite our consistent opposition, Jerry Brown succeeded in forcing the $270 million jail construction plan through the budget process. This year, we will need to be even more vigilant to stop him from pouring more funds into the construction of new cages and systems of punishment.

As soon as the proposed budget is released, we’ll be sharing CURB’s analysis and participating in statewide discussion through the hashtag #CAbudget. CURB will also be joining California Partnership and other anti-poverty and anti-prison groups at a series of press conferences across the state on Tuesday, January 10th, to discuss Gov. Brown’s proposed 2017-18 state budget.

Please join us on Jan. 10th:

It is well past time for Jerry Brown to put an end to California’s prison and jail expansion, to reduce the incarcerated population by releasing our loved ones from captivity, and to fund programs and social services that will support the health and dignity of all Californians.

We look forward to fighting for a budget for humanity alongside you.

In solidarity,

Californians United for a Responsible Budget

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How Will We Win in 2017?

Dear Friend,

In 2016, we helped local coalitions prevent jail construction in Los Angeles, Alameda, San Francisco, and other counties. Our member network grew. On the state level, we co-sponsored legislation, the RISE Act, to repeal the three-year enhancement for drug priors. This work must continue next year to enhance the future for all Californians. 24-hours-left-to-give

We still need 100 donations to surpass our fundraising goal!

Next year we will seek to influence the state to close its twelve oldest prisons, currently slated for repairs. Read our 2016 report, “We Are Not Disposable: The toxic impact of prisons and jails.

But we need your help to make it happen.

Read the rest of How Will We Win in 2017? »

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