Budget Battle: Stop $2.8 billion of prison construction today!

 

Stop Prison Construction Funding

Act Now!

Dear Supporter, 

The State of California recently distributed $800 million for prison expansion and now Senator Nielsen is proposing to increase funding for prison construction by $2.8 billion authorizing the CDCR to add 32,000 beds to existing prison facilities. This is on top of the $500 million being proposed for jail expansion in this year’s budget.

This is outrageous!

Senate Bill 1377 is an attempt to reauthorize the original bond sales that were proposed in 2007 through AB900, the largest prison expansion project in the history of the world! The high-interest on those bonds would take tens of billions of dollars from the state budget each year for decades to come.

Think about all the vital social services and educations programs we could fund with $2.8 billion dollars!

Let the Senate Public Safety Committee know we want them to vote NO on SB 1377.

On Tuesday April 22nd, the bill will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee. And on April 23rd and 24th the $500 million for jail construction will be discussed.

Can you join us in Sacramento?

If you are able to attend this important mobilization please email me at Diana@curbprisonspending.org or 213-864-8931 for more details.

We can make a difference. We must say no to all construction dollars for prisons and jails. Available dollars must be used to build safer, healthier communities by providing people adequate housing, quality health care and education, healthy food, meaningful work and the ability to fully participate in the democratic process.

I hope you join me in opposing this policy by sending a letter today!

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Budget Battle: Stop $1.2 billion in jail construction money!

 

Stop Jail Construction Funding

Act Now!

Dear Supporter,Sacramento is feeling our pressure, the budget committee voted not to spend the recidivism reduction fund to expand prisons! Now, we have a good chance to stop a new attempt to fund the construction of new jails.

Let’s keep the pressure on!

Assembly Bill 2356 will increase the latest $500 million the Governor is attempting to move through the budget for jail construction to $1.2 billion! The high-interest on those bonds would take tens of millions of dollars from the state budget each year for decades to come.

Think about all the vital social services and educations programs we could fund with $1.2 billion dollars!

Let the Assembly Public Safety Committee know we want them to vote NO on AB 2356.

On Tuesday April 8th, the bill will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The hearing will take place at 9am in room 126.  After that we will be supporting the Strong Families, Strong California Rally and Press Conference on the South Steps at 11:30 am.

Can you join us in Sacramento?

If you are able to attend this important mobilization please email me at emily@curbprisonspending.org or 510-435-1176 for more details.

As a Californian who opposes mass incarceration, I hope you join me in opposing this policy by sending a letter today!

Thank you,

Emily Harris

Statewide Coordinator

Californians United for a Responsible Budget

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Who do you know in San Diego?

Things are livening up in San Diego in the fight against prison expansion at Donovan State Prison!

This past week was truely inspiring: people came together to speak to the press, meet with legislators, make banners and posters, and to protest outside of the site of the new 792 bed prison in Otay Mesa.

We need to keep up the momentum and we’d love your help letting people in the San Diego area, know what’s going on.

One quote from Dennis Childs, a literature professor at UCSD, really resinated with me:

“The problem is that there were 30 prisoners last year alone that committed suicide in California prisons. So the very entity that is causing mental health harm in communities, of black and brown and poor, is now positioning itself as going to help people with mental health disturbance”, Childs said.

Dennis is right, prisons are not the answer to our social problems and we need to stop them today!

Need more inspiration? Check out the coverage of our recent organizing efforts on NBC 7ABC 10 and KPBS evening news (coverage begins at 4:33).

We hope you will join us in reaching more people in the San Diego area today!

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San Diego Anti-Prison Coalition Calls for California Decision-Makers to Act Immediately

For Immediate Release –March 29, 2014

San Diego Anti-Prison Coalition Calls for California Decision-Makers to Act Immediately to Reduce the Prison Population and Cancel All Prison Expansion Plans

Contact:  Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, 213-864-8931

San Diego—On Saturday, March 29th in Otay a broad coalition of organizations representing housing, health care, faith, youth, women’s issues, criminal justice, and more will hold a rally at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility to call on California decision-makers to take immediate action to reduce prison overcrowding by expanding parole and sentencing reform measures, investing resources in social programs and services, and canceling all prison expansion plans.

CURB (Californians United for the Responsible Budget) joins local San Diego organizations to hold a press conference and rally at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility to demand Governor Brown and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) stop all plans to build a 792-bed prison for prisoners with disabilities and mental health needs next to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa.

“The social impact of over-incarceration is extraordinarily destructive. Building more prison cells does nothing to solve our prison overcrowding crisis. We must reform our draconian drug sentencing laws and put funding and resources back into our communities. A majority of people behind bars are non-violent drug offenders who need transitional services, community-based treatment, housing, jobs and education so that they can successfully reintegrate back into society, where they belong.” Gretchen Burns Bergman, Co-Founder & Executive Director, A New PATH, (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing), and Lead Organizer, Moms United to End the War on Drugs.

The new expansion unit for people with disabilities next to Donovan Correctional Facility would cost $168.7 million, with an annual operating budget of $5.5 million.

San Diego is also building a women’s jail and the California Department of Corrections recently announced a proposal to open up a Family Foundation Program in the area.

RALLY AND PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS

When: Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 11:00am

Where: Donovan State Prison (480 Alta Road San Diego)

At the site close to the correctional facility, advocates will urge the Governor and the legislature to implement cost effective population reduction strategies and sensible alternatives to incarceration, rather than spending millions on additional, unnecessary beds. CURB along with advocates and community activists are also planning to take further future actions against prison plans.

Participating organizations include: A New PATH, All of Us or None – San Diego, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, California Partnership, California Prison Focus, Community Hispanic Association, Courage Campaign, Critical Resistance, Committee Against Police Brutality, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Committee Against Police Brutality, California Prison Moratorium Project, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, FACTS Education Fund,FairChance Project, Freedom Archives, Friends Committee on Legislation California, Grey Panthers of San Francisco, Invest in Education Not Incarceration Transform Education, ISIDORE, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, The Los Angeles Community Action Network, National Association of Social Workers – CA Chapter,National Lawyers Guild – SF Bay Chapter,People’s Power Assembly – United for Racial Justice, PICO California, Students Against Mass Incarceration – San Diego, Sin Barras – Santa Cruz, United Against Police Terror – San Diego, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and the Youth Justice Coalition along with hundreds of additional organizationsand individuals.

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San Diego Anti-Prison Coalition Responds to Supreme Court Extension

For Immediate Release – March 26, 2014

Calls for California Decision-Makers to Act Immediately to Reduce the Prison Population and Cancel All Prison Expansion Plans

Contact:  Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget

213-864-8931

San Diego—On Wednesday, March 26th in San Diego a broad coalition of organizations representing housing, health care, faith, youth, women’s issues, criminal justice, and more will deliver a response letter to the 2-year Supreme Court extension on prison overcrowding. The letter, delivered to several San Diego state representatives, calls on California decision-makers to take immediate action to reduce prison overcrowding by expanding parole and sentencing reform measures, investing resources in social programs and services, and canceling all prison expansion plans.

CURB (Californians United for the Responsible Budget) joins local San Diego organizations to hold a press conference and letter delivery at the state building in downtown San Diego  to demand Governor Brown and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) stop all plans to build a 792-bed prison for prisoners with disabilities and mental health needs next to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa.

“Who in San Diego wants more prisons?” asked Dennis Childs, Professor at the University of California San Diego. “Why is Gov. Brown dumping this unnecessary waste of land and money on San Diego? We are going to speak out against this unnecessary use of dollars that can be used to empower the youth of San Diego instead of incarcerating them or their families.”

The new expansion unit for people with disabilities next to Donovan Correctional Facility would cost $168.7 million, with an annual operating budget of $5.5 million.

San Diego is also building a women’s jail and the California Department of Corrections recently announced a proposal to open up a Family Foundation Program in the area.

PRESS CONFERENCE AND LETTER DELIVERY DETAILS

When: Wednesday, March 26th, 10am

Where: 1350 Front Street, San Diego, CA

At the state building, advocates will urge the Governor and the legislature to implement cost effective population reduction strategies and sensible alternatives to incarceration, rather than spending millions on additional, unnecessary beds. CURB along with advocates and community activists are also planning to take further actions against prison plans later on this month.

Participating organizations include: A New PATH, All of Us or None – San Diego, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, California Partnership, California Prison Focus, Community Hispanic Association, Courage Campaign, Critical Resistance, Committee Against Police Brutality, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Committee Against Police Brutality, California Prison Moratorium Project, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, FACTS Education Fund,Fair Chance Project, Freedom Archives, Friends Committee on Legislation California, Grey Panthers of San Francisco, Invest in Education Not Incarceration Transform Education, ISIDORE, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, The Los Angeles Community Action Network, National Association of Social Workers – CA Chapter, National Lawyers Guild – SF Bay Chapter, People’s Power Assembly – United for Racial Justice, PICO California, Sin Barras – Santa Cruz, Students Against Mass Incarceration – UCSD, United Against Police Terror – San Diego, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and the Youth Justice Coalition along with hundreds of additional organizations and individuals.

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Stop the Donovan Prison Expansion

In San Diego we have been fighting against the proposals to expand Donovan State Prison for people with disabilities and mental health needs.

We also recently heard that our state opened up a new medical facility this year in Stockton and stopped all prison admissions due to issues of medical neglect.

Why build another 792 bed facility in our county after already putting many people with medical needs in these dire circumstances?

Take the first step and join the California Budget Battle!

Today, the Assembly Budget Sub 5 Committee will hear about the issues regarding the Stockton Facility. We, in San Diego, want to let them know to halt all admissions and to stop opening up more prison beds.

Join the Battle in these three ways:

1) Email the Assembly Sub 5 Budget Committee TODAY. We do not want a prison in San Diego and we do not want California to open up more prison beds. We need parole and sentencing reform implementation now.

2) Come out to a Spokesperson Training in San Diego on Sunday, March 23rd at 2pm. For more information please contact Diana@curprisonspending if you are interested.

3) Join us on Saturday, March 29th at the Protest to Stop the Donovan Prison Expansion at 10:30am. RSVP here.

Money should be allocated to programs promoting interdependence for people with disabilities and mentally illness to thrive within the community. It is not a crime to be physically disabled or to have a mental illness.

Prisons are not the answer to our social problems and we need to stop them today.

Thank you for standing with us,

Catherine Mendonca

Black and Pink San Diego and United Against Terror San Diego


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CURB’s New York Times Letter to the Editor

Jail Reform in California

To the Editor:

We at CURB (Californians United for a Responsible Budget) welcome your call for a sentencing commission to propose desperately needed sentencing reform here in California (“A Sentencing Commission for California,” editorial, March 10).

Our coalition works to curb prison spending using well-studied approaches and redirection of the savings to diversion and community-based alternative programs. We advocate for investment in low-income and communities of color, which are affected most by incarceration, instead of the same old approach we’ve seen here in California: building more costly prison and jail beds.

These only create incentives for more tough-on-crime policies that are preventing us from investing in real solutions to prison overcrowding.

In order for a commission to be most effective at moving California away from a punishment model, we need a commission that is similar to that of Oregon, one that is tasked with substantially reducing the number of people we lock up here in California.

We hope that the commission will help California rouse itself from the drug war stupor and the ruinous punitive bluster that has misdirected policy for decades. Surely it’s time for California to be released from those.

EMILY HARRIS
JOE MAIZLISH
Oakland, Calif., March 11, 2014

 The writers are, respectively, statewide coordinator for CURB and a member of the group’s media team.

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Saturday: Ending Mass Incarceration Through Justice Reinvestment

Dear Supporter,

Two CURB member groups the California Prison Moratorium Project and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights are joining forces with a series of Valley organizations to host a special event in Fresno this Saturday, we hope to see you there!

Join advocates, students, & community members for a panel discussion followed by breakout strategy sessions on local & statewide solutions to end mass incarceration through justice reinvestment—moving resources from failed public safety policies to real solutions that create safe, prosperous communities.

Ending Mass Incarceration Through Justice Reinvestment

March 15th, 2014
10:00am
Fresno City College, Old Administration Building Room 251
1101 University Ave., Fresno, CA 93728
RSVP: 559-367-6020 / pmpvalle@yahoo.com

Unase con los estudiantes y la gente de la comunidad en un dialago interactivo sobre el encarcelamiento masivo, despues nos enfocaremos en las estrategias mas eficientes que se puedan poner en práctica en los condados y a nivel estatal- para poder invertir en soluciones eficientes que nos ayuden a ejercer como comunidad.

ACABANDO CON EL ENCARCELAMIENTO MASIVO ATRAVES DE CAMBIAR Y REPENSAR NUESTRO SISTEMA DE JUSTICIA

MARZO 15, 2014
10:00am
Lugar: El Colegio de la Ciudad de Fresno
(OLD ADMINISTRATION BUILDING) Cuarto 251 1101 University Ave., Fresno, CA 93728
Para reservaciones o preguntas en espanol contacte: 559-367-6020 / pmpvalle@yahoo.com
Ya basta, juntos nos organizamos,

 

Debbie Reyes

 

California Prison Moratorium Project and member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

 

PS. Help us reach our goal of getting 200 people from the Valle to sign this petition!

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TOMORROW: International Women’s Day Event

Dear Supporter,This year’s International Women’s Day is honoring the contribution of women to the survival and wellbeing of Los Angeles, Southern California and the world.

A special honoring of California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC) will be part of the event. We invite you to gather with us to celebrate the work that CFASC has done to gather public support against conditions in California prisons.

Join us Saturday!

What: International Women’s Day event
When: Saturday March 8, 2014 from 2-5pm
Where: MacArthur Park Band Shell, 6th & Park View LA 90057

The multi-media event will feature a concert with local performers, a speak out by community members; visuals include people’s art installations and displays, children’s activities, food and more.

Please come out Saturday and celebrate the work of women and CFASC with us!

See you there, 

Daletha Hayden

California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement and a member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Planning group: Alexandria House; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Center for the Study of Political Graphics; DCFS Give Us Back Our Children; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Food Not Bombs; Feminists Working on Real Democracy (F*WORD, Santa Cruz); Alex Sanchez, Executive Director of Homies Unidos; Long Beach Area Peace Network; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; Pat Alviso, Rossana Cambron, Jeff Merrick, military family peace activists; No More Jails LA; Orange Co. Peace Coal; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz; Bilal Ali, state-wide coordinator Homeless Bill of Rights, WRAP; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike & GWS/LA; Veterans for Peace Chapters 067(Long Beach)  & 110 (OC).
Co-Sponsors : Anti-Racist Action-LA (ARA-LA/PART); BAYAN; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; CA Prison Moratorium Project ; Critical Resistance/Los Angeles; Haiti Action Committee; Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace; International Action Center; KidVillage@OccupyLA; LAANE’s Child care Campaign; LA Community Action Network; MLK Coalition for Jobs, Justice & Peace; Mujeres de Maiz; Stop LAPD Spying Coalition; Topanga Peace Alliance; Western Regional Advocacy Project; Women in Action committee of UTLA; Youth Justice Coalition

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The California Budget Battle Begins

A lot is at stake this budget session for people who support reducing the prison population and investing our resources into smart & humane alternatives.

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

In January, the proposed budget was released and as you’ll remember from our summary: Gov. Brown’s Budget: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the budget includes some modest parole reforms that we want to expand and & prevents additional out-of-state transfers!

However, the budget also includes plans to spend MILLIONS of our tax dollars to expand the prison and jail system by over 5,000 new beds.

On the horizon there are a series of important Budget Hearings in Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections in the Senate and Assembly. We encourage you to attend or tune into these hearings.  The first two are tomorrow and this Thursday!

Over the next few months we’ll be sending out vital rapid response updates and urgent action alerts, until the Governor actually signs the budget sometime around July 1st.

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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