Catching you up on the Budget Battle

 

 

 

Dear Supporter,

These past few weeks have been very busy in the capital. Many of our members have gone to budget hearings and have witnessed our elected officials questioning the increase in corrections spending and asking for a durable, sustainable solution.

We have part of the solution here!

We knew that the corrections budget is slated to increase 1.7% and that they are asking for $20 million to increase contract bed capacity. We also learned that CDCR is attempting to use funding for reentry support for people on parole (the Recidivism Reuction Fund) to pay for overtime costs and “pilot reentry facilitites” that will be run by law enforcement. And trying to open up smaller prisons for women.

But wait, hasn’t parole and sentencing reform measures actually decreased the population to below what the courts have been demanding?

Yes! And at the hearings Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, and CDCR praised the progress and suggested that we need to make some of these reforms law to create a durable, sustainable plan.

And that is where we come in! CURB and it’s member organizations are sponsoring bills that lead us towards a long-term plan.

  • SB 224 (Senator Liu) –  Elder Parole
  • AB 512 (Assemblymember Stone) – Program Credit Incentives for Incarcerated People
  • SB 219 (Senator Liu) – Alternative Custody Program

Take action and learn more about our prison population reduction bill package.

We are going to need you now more than ever. We have part of the solution that could bring our loved ones home and stop the corrections budget from expanding. If you are a family member or want to be a part of our Quick Response Team make sure you take action now!

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Celebrate International Women’s Day!

 

Dear Supporter,This year’s International Women’s Day is honoring the fundamental work of mothers and other caregivers in the home, on the land and in the community.

We will discuss the contributions women have led in the fight against poverty, prisons, and war! And envision true opportunities for our communities.

Join us this Saturday as we introduce a global petition for a living wage for caregiving.

What: International Women’s Day: No to Austerity, Poverty, Prisons and War- A Living Wage for Mothers and All Caregivers

When: Saturday, March 7th, Noon-3pm

Where:
 LA Alliance for a New Economy, 464 Lucas Ave., LA 90017

The multi-media event will feature a concert with local performers, community resources, children’s activities, food and more.

Come out this Saturday to celebrate the work and role of women in our movement for a better world!

See you there,

Diana Zuñiga
Interim Statewide Coordinator
Californians United for a Responsible Budget 

Planning group: Alexandria House, Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, Black community and labor rights activist Kokayi Jitahidi,   Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike LA, Guerilla Food Not Bombs, Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA, Military Families Speak Out, LA No More Jails Coalition, Sin Barras, Veterans for Peace Los Angeles.

Co-Sponsors: Hunger Action LA, LA Alliance for a New Economy, LA Laborfest, Mothers Against Youth Genocide, Mujeres de Maiz, Rev. Janet G. McKeithen, Church in Ocean Park; media sponsor, KPFK Radio 90.7FM

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California Budget Battle Begins – Millions for Prisons?

Dear Supporter,

The budget battle is in session! And for people who support reducing the prison population and investing our resources into smart alternatives this is our year.

Today’s action is the first in a series from CURB on the California Budget Battle!

In January, the proposed budget was released and, if you remember, there continues to be a lot at stakeThe budget highlights our collective effort that resulted in the release of almost 5,000 people from California prisons due to the expansion of good time credit, elder parole, and medical parole!

However, the budget also includes plans to spend MILLIONS of our tax dollars to expand the prison system by thousands of new beds.

Now, we need to get ready for a series of important Assembly and Senate Budget Hearings in Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections. The first two are tomorrow and this Thursday!

Take action and say no to millions of dollars for new prison beds!

Please join us in standing up for a budget that prioritizes services and programs for our most vulnerable Californians, and stops throwing our taxdollars down the rat hole of incarceration!

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Reminder: Let’s Pack the Room Today!

Supporter,

Let’s pack the house today and show how strong San Francisco’s opposition is to this controversial replacement jail proposal.

  • 12:00pm-2:00pm: Capital Planning Committee Meeting in City Hall.  at 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, SF. This committee is voting on keeping the jail plan in the 10 year Capital Plan. We need anyone who can speak out against the jail to join us!
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm: March and Rally! Today our rally will start in front of the jail at 850 Bryant.  We will have a series of powerful speakers from TGI Justice Project, and more.  We will be joined by the BLO (Brass Liberation Orchestra) and march to the CASC for the Environmental Impact Community Meeting. Bring banners and signs and come prepared to dance!
  • 6:00pm-8:00pm: Environmental Impact Community Meeting. Sheriff Mirkarimi and staff from the Department of Public Works will be hosting a public meeting on the environmental impact of the $278 million dollar jail plan at the Community Assessment and Service Center (CASC) at 564 6th Street in San Francisco. Bring your best examples of the environmental impacts that jail and incarceration has on your life and your community.

San Francisco needs real solutions to public safety, housing, jobs, education, mental health care, not more of the same failed policies that harm our community. Justice is won when we build a future of opportunity for everyone, not more jails.

RSVP here and spread the word (on Facebook or by sharing the updated event flyer), it’s coming up quick!

Let’s do this!

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Community Groups to Rally and Mobilize Against New SF Jail

For Immediate Release – Friday, February 27, 2015

Press Contacts: 

Lisa Marie Alatorre, SF Coalition on Homelessness – 510.982.9275lmalatorre@cohsf.org

Mohamed Shehk, Critical Resistance – 408.910.2618mohamed@criticalresistance.org

Twitter: #nomorejails

San Francisco – On March 2nd, community organizations and advocacy groups with the SF Jail Fight Coalition will be holding a rally against a proposed jail construction project in San Francisco, and will be mobilizing community members to attend two public city meetings to voice their opposition to the project. Jail opponents claim that public resources should be invested in community services and healthy alternatives to imprisonment, rather than wasted on worsening California’s imprisonment crisis.

Organizers against the jail highlight the fact that San Francisco’s jail population has been steadily decreasing, with 35% of the county’s jail capacity currently unused. “We are proud that San Francisco’s jail population is shrinking, but it is utterly illogical that the Sheriff is responding by proposing a new jail,” says Coral Feigin of Critical Resistance Oakland. “The only population that hasn’t showed a decline in jail numbers is people with mental health issues. This clearly tells us that we need to be investing in effective mental health services and support, not more cages that literally only worsen the problem.”

“Currently, 84% of the people in San Francisco jails are pre-trial, meaning they have not even been tried or sentenced to jail time,” says Lisa Marie Alatorre of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. “Yet, they are still locked up simply for not being able to afford bail. San Francisco is in essence criminalizing the poor.” Advocates say that revising bail schedules and expanding pre-trial diversion programs are just two examples of simple and effective alternatives that would make a costly new jail unnecessary.

Critics also argue that the gross disparities in the jail population reveal the damaging role imprisonment plays in maintaining a system that targets people of color, poor and working class communities, and people who have mental illness.

“Although African Americans make up only 4% of San Francisco’s population, they account for 56% of the jail population. Latino children are three times more likely than their white counterparts to have a parent locked up,” says Janetta Johnson of the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project. “Building a new jail would deepen these disparities and further criminalize communities most impacted by imprisonment, including Black and Latino communities, trans people, the homeless population, and those with mental health issues.” Organizers also argue that a new jail would intensify the targeting of marginalized populations in the face of increasing gentrification in San Francisco.

The SF Jail Fight Coalition will be rallying outside the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant St., beginning at5:30pm. The rally will then march to a public meeting hosted by SF Public Works and the SF Sheriff’s Department about the jail project’s environmental review process, to take place at the Community Assessment & Service Center, 564 6th St., from 6pm to 8pm. Community members are also mobilizing to attend San Francisco’s Capital Planning Committee meeting at 12pm at city hall, Room 201, where the jail plan will be voted on.

Press contacts will be available at the rally and public meetings for interviews.

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Let’s talk strategy. Join us for education and action!

Dear Supporter,

BUILDING TOGETHER

 

So much is happening in Los Angeles. We are still fighting strong against jail expansion; the county is moving towards comprehensive mental health diversion; and we’re pushing to get increased funding for more re-entry, social and health services for our community.

All this would not be without the efforts of our member organizations, such as Justice Now, Dignity and Power Now, Critical Resistance, and many more.

Now, we’re inviting you, Supporter, to come join us and our member organizations for education and action this week!

This Thursday, Dignity and Power Now is hosting a community convening to discuss effective civilian oversight of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

On Saturday, organizers from Justice Now, Critical Resistance LA, and Dignity and Power Now will come together to discuss gender issues and different strategies to fight against prison and jail expansion.

Will you come and build with us? 

1) ALL EYES ON YOU Community Convening

When: Thursday, February 26th. 6:30 – 9:00pm

Where: Mercado la Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007

2) Building Together: Intersectional Strategies for Challenging Prison Expansion and Achieving Gender Justice 

When: Saturday, February 28th. 2 – 4pm

Where: Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E. Redondo Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90302

Come join us this week and let’s share our strategies for building a movement against police brutality, for gender justice and a world without cages.

 

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Stone bill aims to decrease recidivism

By Jason Hoppin in the Monterey County Herald on 02/23/15

Sacramento - With an eye on reducing the population in California’s overcrowded prisons, Assemblymember Mark Stone on Monday announced a new bill that could triple early-release credits for some inmates.

If passed into law, AB 512 would increase the credits inmates can earn for participating in rehabilitative programs, such as educational classes and vocational training, to up to 18 weeks per year. Currently, inmates can earn up to six weeks.

“We need to make sure that people in prison who will someday return to their communities have the opportunity to learn job and life skills that will help them stay out of trouble when they are released,” said Stone, D-Scotts Valley. “This bill provides inmates a stronger incentive to complete programs that have been proven to help reduce recidivism.”

The aim is to slow the revolving prison door by giving inmates tools to better adjust to life on the outside once their sentences are over. The bill would not apply to serious sex offenders, or inmates serving life without the possibility of parole or on death row.
Such programs are offered through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, though programs vary by prison.
At Salinas Valley State Prison, inmates may earn credits through educational programs, and officials there plan to open an in-prison substance abuse program and vocational training, according to Lt. Eduardo Mazariegos, a spokesman with the prison. The prison also offers 12-step, religious, arts and community-based programs.

According to a 2012 state report, 70.9 percent of Monterey County inmates committed another crime within three years after being released, higher than the statewide figure of 63.7 percent.

Stone cited figures showing inmates who completed substance abuse programs returned to prison at less than half the rate of other inmates. And just 5.4 percent of inmates who completed San Quentin State Prison’s Prison University Project were back behind bars within a year.
Currently, California’s prison population sits at 136 percent of capacity. Persistent overcrowding has led to rafts of litigation and serious reform efforts by Sacramento lawmakers, including 2011’s AB 109, which sent many less-serious offenders to local jails to serve out their sentences.

So far, California voters have showed support for those moves, even voting to roll back part of the state’s Three Strikes law. In November, they also passed Prop 47, which reclassified six non-violent felonies as misdemeanors, leading to the release of hundreds, if not thousands, of inmates statewide.

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We Changed the Venue – Now Join the No New SF Jail Rally!

Thanks to the quick action by members of CURB’s Action Network, we successfully got the venue of the meeting changed to a more community-friendly location!!

Say NO to a New Jail in SF!

Help us get the word out on Facebook or by sharing the Environmental Impact Flyer.

Screenshot 2015-02-25 21.38.07

#NoMoreJails

On March 2nd from 6-8pm, Sheriff Mirkarimi and staff from the Department of Public Works will be hosting a public meeting on the environmental impact of the $278 million dollar jail plan at the Community Assessment and Service Center (CASC).

Plan on joining us at 5:30pm at 850 Bryant in front of the Hall of Justice for a rally and march to the CASC before the 6pm meeting.

The CASC is around the corner from the 850 Bryant jail, at 564 6th Street in San Francisco. RSVP here.

Bring banners and signs and your best examples of the environmental impacts that jail and incarceration has on your life and your community.

San Francisco needs real solutions to public safety, housing, jobs, education, mental health care, not more of the same failed policies that harm our community. Justice is won when we build a future of opportunity for everyone, not more jails.

Let’s pack the house and show how strong San Francisco’s opposition is to this controversial replacement jail proposal. And spread the word (on Facebook or by sharing the Environmental Impact Flyer), it’s coming up quick!

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Riverside March 7th: Healing and music at the Freedom Concert!

We are very excited to inform you of the upcoming Freedom Concert presented by Recovery Inc., in conjunction with First Congregational Church in Riverside, Temple Beth El, Unity Fellowship Social Justice Ministries and others.

The event is intended to raise awareness around the issues of mass incarceration and provide support for organizations that assist formerly incarcerated persons. The concert will feature a range of artists in folk, gospel, blues, son jarocho and other inspirational music. And, we will also provide light refreshments!

It will be an event you don’t want to miss! So, please save the date today:freedom concert flyer

When: Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 7-9pm

Where: First Congregational Church Riverside, 3504 Mission Inn Avenue, 92501

Be sure to RSVP here, and join us for good music, good people and good vibes at the Freedom Concert: A Community Heals Together on March 7th. The suggested minimum donation of $10 will benefit those affected by incarceration served by Riverside All of Us or None and Californians United for a Responsible Budget.

We will send out another reminder in the next few weeks, but for now, please save the date and spread the word! And, as always, we thank you for your support!

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Act Now: The Police Auditorium is No Place for a Community Meeting

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We are reaching out with an urgent request for your support in our ongoing struggle to crush San Francisco’s plans for a new replacement jail.

We have recently found out that there is an opportunity for public input on the proposed jail plan and wanted to make sure that as many people know about it as possible. On March 2nd from 6-8pm, Sheriff Mirkarimi and staff from the Department of Public Works will be hosting a public meeting on the environmental impact of the $278 million dollar jail plan.

While we are glad there is an opportunity for public input and hope you will stand with us, we are very dismayed that the meeting is currently taking place on the 6th floor (County Jail #3) of 850 Bryant.

Help us demand a more neutral and community-friendly location, like City Hall or the Community Assessment and Service Center (CASC) for a safer and more welcoming space for all in the community to participate.

We need your help before March 2nd!

1) Click here to email Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and the Program Managers of the jail plan to demand a venue change of the meeting.

2) Plan to come to the meeting and speak out against this jail proposal! If you RSVP here, we can keep you posted on the final location.

San Francisco needs housing, employment, treatment, and mental healthcare – real solutions to incarceration.

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