Drop LWOP- the time is now!

Dear Supporter,

Governor Brown has several bills on his desk that speak to California voters’ commitment to move away from punitive punishments and closer to community based car, as a model for public safety. Included in that stack of criminal justice reform legislation is SB 394 which moves to end life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) as a sentence for youth.

We take this victory as a step in the right direction and are asking you to join with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) in a statewide campaign to DROP LWOP and secure sentence commutations for all those serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP). LWOP is an inhumane sentence which denies people the possibility to rehabilitate and move towards reaching their highest potential. Read the rest of Drop LWOP- the time is now! »

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RISE Act passes! On to the Governor’s desk!

Dear Supporter,

Congratulations! California has successfully passed the biggest sentencing reform in the history of the California State Legislature. SB 180 moves out of the Assembly on a 41 to 25 vote and on to the governor’s desk to be signed.

Much appreciation to every person who took the time to make calls, send in letters, forward emails and activate their social media platforms to help advocate for the Repeal of Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements! Special thanks to each amazing organizer who has been so dedicated to this campaign: ACLU of Northern California, California Public Defenders Association, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Drug Policy Alliance, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and of course, Senator Holly J. Mitchell! (click and like their FB pages-stay connected with us!)

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Dear Supporter,

Now is the time to turn up the pressure on our state assembly to pass SB 180, the Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancement (RISE) Act!

SB 180 would repeal the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions, with the exception of convictions involving a minor. Prosecutors have used sentence enhancements for prior drug convictions as tools to coerce people to accept guilty-plea arrangements for charges, for fear of facing many years in prison on convictions for which they have already served time. For more information, please click here.

The so-called war on drugs is nothing for America to be proud of. In solidarity with people around the country who are taking action to condemn and shut down white supremacy along with monuments of white supremacy, we are working to cancel policies that have acted as tools of anti-Black racial oppression and destabilizers of under-resourced communities of color.

What can you do to help?

  1. Send in a letter to the editor (LTE) to media outlets near you in order to heighten awareness about the RISE Act. A sample letter has been written for you but feel free to make edits so it fits your voice. Click here to get started!
  2. Call your assembly member and make sure they know that you support SB 180/ RISE Act. Tell them that you strongly encourage them to support as well. It may be heard on the assembly floor as soon as tomorrow! Click here to find out which district you live in. Use this sample call script, from our friends at the Ella Baker Center:

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Fresno Clean Slate Event- Day 1

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, All of Us or None- Fresno and California Prison Moratorium Project Invite You to a CLEAN SLATE DAY!

  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony, been detained in a juvenile hall, jail, prison, or INS detention?
  • Have you been denied jobs, public housing or welfare due to a felony conviction?
  • Are you having a hard time starting over since your release from a cage?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you owe it to yourself to join us for a Clean Slate / Records Expungement Clinic. Bring a photo I.D. and get a free copy of your RAP sheet!

When: Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Drop in anytime befoe 3:30 p.m.- first come, first served)

Where: The New Light for a New Life Church of God: 1106 W. Woodward Fresno, CA 93706
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Make your voice heard! Prop. 57 Regulations

Attention all advocates for care not cages!

We have 28-days left to voice our recommendations for Prop. 57 regulations. The written public comment period ends September 1, 2017 at 5:00pm. It is up to us to make sure that California voters are not undermined in the CDCR’s proposed regulations. It is our duty to make sure that Prop. 57 works to liberate loved ones inside, as voters intended.

Can we depend on you to send in your public comment, including our coalition’s recommendations?

Based on our Prop. 57 Survey results, lead by member organization Initiate Justice, we developed the following recommendations in response to the draft Emergency Regulations, and they are the same for these Regular Regulations:

  1. Allow all people in prison to earn 50% good time credits
  2. Make all good time credit earning retroactive
  3. Include Third Strikers in the non-violent early parole
  4. Award retroactive Education Merit Credits for each achievement
  5. Allow every person with a Youth Offender Parole Date or Elderly Parole Date to earn time off of their earliest parole date

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Women for Care Not Cages!

My name is Gina and I am the founder of Essie Justice Group – a fierce organization of women with incarcerated loved ones and a proud member of CURB. Our powerful mission: To build a movement to empower women with incarcerated loved ones. And to break the cycles of pain, isolation and poverty that many women experience and struggle through in silence, burdened by shame and social stigma.

The women of Essie and members of CURB value people over profit and care over cages. We know that tough on crime policies have only destabilized our communities and torn our families apart. Our women are standing strong despite the trauma of incarceration and lack of community resources. We are making healthy steps towards purpose driven lives thanks to the support we give to each other.

Will you help CURB continue to stand with women all over the state who are fighting to keep their families together?

Everyday, more and more people are joining the fight to end mass incarceration. CURB’s job is to amplify those voices, and bring the fight to the decision-makers! This year, CURB has joined Essie Justice Group and others in an ambitious campaign to urge the California legislature to end the system of money bail. Women all over California are being held in county jail, away from their children and communities, due to their financial status and inability to bail out. We want to make sure that counties across the state are no longer detaining over 40% of people in their jails, pretrial. As you know, this will take strong support to accomplish. You can be part of making that happen!

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One step closer to passing RISE!

We are happy to spread the news: Yesterday, June 27, 2017, the RISE Act (SB180 authored by Senator Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara) passed the California Assembly Public Safety Committee! After more than forty-five years of the War on Drugs, California is one step closer to passing legislation that moves toward undoing some of the harms caused by this attack on low income communities of color.

In June of 1971, President Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one” causing soaring arrest rates that deliberately targeted Black people. Nixon dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies and pushed through measures like mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. In the 1980s, during the height of the drug war hysteria, the number of arrests for all crimes had risen by 28%, while the number of arrests for drug offenses rose 126%.

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Strength in Numbers

In April of this year I stood on the steps of the Capitol surrounded by a group of fierce advocates ready to speak truth to power on Prop 57. For years, I have worked alongside CURB and its members to bring our loved ones home, and our work on Prop 57 was one step closer to achieving our collective vision of liberation.

CURB works tirelessly to not only imagine a world without prisons and jails, but also to implement alternatives that center the work of those most impacted by incarceration. 

My husband and I founded Initiate Justice to engage people directly impacted by incarceration to fight for divestment from punitive systems and investment in people, communities, and restorative means of reducing harm. We joined CURB because their mission of care not cages aligns with our own and have worked together to create tangible changes, like the passing of Prop 57, which reduces prison sentences based on good time and milestone credits.

We need your help to keep moving transformative policies like this forward! [[First_Name]], would you donate $30, $100 or $500 today?

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Corrections spending keeps climbing: CA 2017-18 budget

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed the 2017-18 CA State Budget. Increased investment in incarceration puts us all in danger of falling into Jeff Sessions’ plan to heighten racialized state violence. Alarming investments include: 

  • increases $500 million for state corrections 
  • increases $1.5 million for local community corrections
  • refurbishes or replaces the 12 Oldest Prisons in California

On the contrary, Californian’s have been stepping up to address the irresponsible, harmful policies from the “tough on crime” era. The people have been working to have savings from recent parole and sentencing reform re-directed to the community, to support the continued success of community based reentry and development. Our legislature can still show Gov. Brown that we won’t accept his continued prioritization of imprisonment.

Will you join us in reaching out to press? Let’s make sure inflated spending on incarceration is reversed by our leaders in legislature.

With heightened federal pressure, we need to protect California’s most vulnerable populations by reducing spending on corrections and incarceration now more than ever. 

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Support the RISE Act, Reject Jeff Sessions’ war on drugs

Last week, Jeff Sessions published an op-ed in the Washington Post, that calls for a new wave of the war on drugs and tough sentencing: “Being soft on sentencing means more violent crime. It’s time to get tough again.”

The RISE Act is more important than ever!

The RISE Act will repeal costly and ineffective sentencing enhancements, reflecting the Legislature’s and voters’ consensus that we must divest from mass incarceration in order to invest in vitally needed public services.

We are thrilled by all the support coming forward for this vital sentencing reform and now is the time to keep the pressure on! To date, 140 organizations have supported the RISE act (see the complete list here).

Will you help us reach our goal of 200 letters of support before our next hearing!

Here are a few additional things you can do to support RISE: Read the rest of Support the RISE Act, Reject Jeff Sessions’ war on drugs »

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