This week our county decision makers got into a heated debate over Civilian Oversight power. The discussion was focused on subpoena power and community representation with no final decision made. There is still a lot of room for public pressure to create a Commission with teeth.
This week brings us two important conversations. The first is a report of DA Lacey’s mental health diversion plan. And the second involves revisiting the $2 billion jail plan.
Check out this amazing video we created with Dignity and Power Now showing what our communities actually want and need. And come out on Tuesday to support this vision and tell the supervisors #nomorejails!
Where: 500 West Temple St. LA, 90012
When: Tuesday, August 4th at 9am for a Press Conference and Public Comment
We will also be launching an important resource that we want you to be a part of. We believe it is something that will change the way this jail plan is moving.
Can’t come on Tuesday? Then please share the video and keep a lookout for information to learn more about this surprise resource that will be public Tuesday.
We can’t do this without you!
The county is making some really important decisions in the next two weeks and we need you to be present.
After a year-long process, the Board of Supervisors will hear recommendations regarding the size, scope, mission, and powers a Civilian Oversigt Commission can have.
DPN and so many allies have been fighting for the commission to have subpoena power, community representation, no law enforcement and other common sense powers. This Tuesday we will be able to see if these ideas will be a reality.
Where: 500 West Temple St. LA, 90012
When: 9am Press Conference and Public Comment
And don’t forget to save the date to join us on August 4th. On this day the Board of Supervisors will be hearing about DA Lacey’s Mental Health Diversion Plan and the an status report on the jail plan and community based capacity!
We need you to keep fighting with us!
Dignity and Power Now
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget
P.S.Check out this video we worked on with CURB!Get ready to start blasting it all over social media this week.
Last week’s strong mobilizations left a big impression on the Board of Supervisors whose votes will be crucial in stopping the proposed SF jail this Tuesday.
City Hall is voting to approve San Francisco’s application for $80 million of state funding for the new SF jail project and will be holding a hearing to discuss the environmental impact. SF claims there are no significant environmental impacts, but we know better and have filed an appeal. On Tuesday the Planning Commission and the Board will be hearing our objections.
When: Tuesday, July 21st at 3:00pm
Where: San Francisco City Hall, Room 250
With very few avenues for public participation leading up to this vote, we need to go all out on Tuesday to stop SF from building more cages. They’ve already increased the police force by 700 cops, and we can’t let the city build a new jail.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
A member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget and No New SF Coalition
Media Advisory – Wednesday, July 15, 2015
No New SF Jail Coalition
What: Community members to mobilize at City Hall to oppose funding for new SF jail
Opponents to the controversial proposed jail project will be attending a Budget and Finance Subcommittee meeting, where committee members will vote on appropriating $24 million for the project. The vote would also authorize the Sheriff’s Department to apply for state funding from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) for the jail, despite the fact that the jail plan currently is in violation of state building codes.
Who: Organizations and community members with the No New SF Jail Coalition
The Coalition includes Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), SF Coalition on Homelessness, Critical Resistance – Oakland, SF Taxpayers for Public Safety, SF Tenants Union, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget.
When: Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 10am
Where: SF City Hall, Room 250
Why: Despite growing opposition to the proposed jail, city officials are trying to steamroll its approval process
The No New SF Jail Coalition has repeatedly argued that jail proponents are doing everything in their power to circumvent community input and accountability. Despite questions raised by the Coalition about violations to state building codes, environmental impacts, and displacement of affordable housing units, officials are attempting to push the jail plan through. The Coalition will be testifying tomorrow against the need for the proposed jail, arguing that the millions of dollars should be instead be invested in alternatives and community based resources.
This year marked the first time that CURB has worked on bills to reduce the prison population. Most of our efforts have focused on the state corrections budget, but this year was different and we learned a lot.
What do the steps that we took this year mean for our continued work? And how do the bills and budget impact you or someone that you know?
Learn more about the #CABudget and bills on Tuesday, July 21st at 6:30pm. CURB will be holding its first ever CURB Criminal Justice Policy Briefing – “How are my Loved One’s Impacted?”.
We invite advocates, organizers, and family members to learn more about these policies from some of the experts that are members of CURB. We will share next steps that you can take to help us continue the fight against prisons and jails and for community based solutions.
Thank you for standing with us this year and we look forward to continuing the fight together!
It’s hard to even keep up with how fast San Francisco decision makers are scrambling to push through proposed new SF Jail. We can see that our pressure is working. But some factions are still pushing the jail. There are two key events next week for our fight.
When: Wednesday, July 15th at 10:00am
Where: City Hall, Room #250, San Francisco
Agenda items will include approving the claim that the jail project will pose a less than significant environmental impact. The second item is to allow the Sheriff’s Department to apply for $80 million in jail contruction fund from the state while approving the entire project! This means that this meeting might be the only time we can publicly comment against the jail.
And the fight isn’t over.
On Thursday, July 16 at 10:30 AM, Supervisors Jane Kim and London Breed are co-sponsoring an Alternatives to a Jail Rebuild hearing where we will testify about more holistic, community-based approaches to pursue instead of a harmful new jail.
Will you come to show your support and demand alternatives to the jail? If you cannt make it to the meetings please spread the word to our supporters via social media using #NoNewSFJail & #NoMoreJails!
Last month, the LA No More Jails Coalition and our allies won a 45-day suspension of the $2 billion jail construction plan. Due to our grassroots organizing efforts, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion to adequately assess alternatives to jail capacity before moving forward with jail expansion projects in the county. Check out KPCC’s article here.
Now, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is trying to propose a new jail plan and will seek an additional $80 million of state funding to expand existing jails in the county. This is why we must keep the pressure on. On Tuesday, July 14 we expect that the sheriff’s department will seek approval from the board. Please save the date and join us to demand #nomorejails.
We know that Los Angeles needs holistic, effective, accessible and well-coordinated mental and physical health care, not more cages.
To learn more about the work happening in Los Angeles join us on Saturday, July 11. Community+County Health Empowerment (C+CHE) is hosting a community gathering and discussion about the growing movement away from jails and policing and towards the health and sustainability of our communities.
When: Saturday, July 11th, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Where: Los Angeles LGBT Center (1125 N. McCadden Place Room 111, LA 90038)
Come share your experiences and envision a better, stronger Los Angeles for everyone.
This mid-year fundraiser is already off to an amazing start thanks to the generosity of so many of our supporters that contribute to the sustainability of our amazing coalition.
Our grassroots organizing efforts are mirroring that dedication. In the past few weeks, our people power suspended the LA jail plan for 45 days, moved 2 supervisors in SF to oppose that city’s jail plan, and brought counties from across California to Sacramento to demand no more jails.
It is clear that decision makers are hearing our voices and we know that we still need to keep on demanding community solutions and alternatives to imprisonment. Supporter, can you help us make this fundraising campaign a huge success?
Help us raise $25,000 in direct donations and sign up 7 more monthly sustainers, so we can continue to fight!
As of this morning, we are well on our way to reaching our goals, but we still need all the help we can get.
Thank you for being part of our statewide movement to reduce the number of prisons and jails, as well as the number of people incarcerated in California. Together, we will build a different California!
Interim Statewide Coordinator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 25, 2015
Press Contact: Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
SACRAMENTO, CA – Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) released the following statement from Statewide Coordinator Diana Zuñiga on the budget deal released by Governor Jerry Brown yesterday. The Corrections Budget continues to account for a total of $12.656 billion with plans to move forward with “aggressive” prison construction of 3,682 new beds at Donovan and Mule Creek with no clear plans to close the dilapidated Norco prison until next year’s budget.
“For years we have continued to see the Governor prioritize prison expansion instead of the smart sentencing reform that voters have supported time and time again. We are deeply disappointed that decision makers feel the only way to get out of the court order on prison overcrowding is to waste millions of taxpayers dollars to build more prison beds. The Governor is making it clear that he’s only interested in locking people away instead of following the voter mandate to reduce the the prison population and bring people home instead of languishing in California and out of state prisons.”
“This budget shows that our elected officials are only interested in shifting people from out of state prisons into newly constructed “social service” prisons that will provide outpatient or educational programs in a prison. It is clear by now that the best treatment and education can not happen in a prison. Building more and more prisons under this same misconception will only lead to failure. We have seen it before, if we build them we will fill them. We should instead push for significant restorations to anti-poverty, education and social safety net programs that have suffered years of cuts in our communities.”
“All I see in the state budget is lots of expensive construction and leaving an aging prison open with no real commitment to a realistic plan that gets us out of the court order and people long overdue for release home. As we bring people home from out of state we need to use the savings towards a focus on parole and sentencing reform that is decreasing the population. This final budget is a disgrace in that it leaves programs like elder parole, credit expansion, and the alternative custody program out of the equation when we know that is the only way we will get out of the court order by February 2016. How can you create a long term plan a month before the court’s deadline?”
CURB is a statewide alliance of over 70 organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California.
The Negative: More Foot Dragging and Prison Expansion
Administration will wait until the 2016-17 budget to develop a long term plan to get out of the court order, taking into account:
Use of Contract Beds (in-state and out of state)
Permanent solution to Norco State Prison
Need for Population Reduction Strategies such as current court orders
3,682 new prison beds at existing prisons at Donovan in San Diego and Mule Creek in Ione – $35.5 million from the General Fund and $90,000 from the Inmate Welfare Fund
The Positive: Revised Contract Bed Plan, Prison Population Reduction
Revised Contract Bed Plan
Reduction of $73.3 million in CDCR budget due to a reduction of 4,000 out‐of‐state contract beds by June 2016
Reduction of $20 million from a reduction in contract bed capacity
Population is reducing faster than anticipated due to Good Time Credit increase for second strikers, expansion of medical parole, implementation of elder parole, new non-violent second strike parole measure and Prop. 47 (average daily reduction of 7,500 people in 2015-16)
Review the Summary and Detailed Budget Here: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov
For Immediate Release – Friday, June 26, 2015
Sacramento – Today, community members and advocates from across California are pushing back against $500 million of state funds going to counties for jail construction and expansion at a “Bidders’ Conference,” held by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). The Bidders Conference lures Sheriffs’ departments from across the state to scramble for competitive funding for their counties’ jails, a move opposed by community members as a harmful and wasteful use of state resources.
In order to receive funds, counties are graded on a set of criteria, then ranked across the state. Jail opponents argue, however, that many counties are ineligible for funds for a variety of reasons, including a lack of need for jails, the high level of opposition to jail expansion among their local elected officials, and the abundance of alternatives. For instance, Los Angeles County voted earlier this month to suspend its jail construction plans in lieu of assessing possible alternatives to imprisonment; and last week in San Francisco, two more county supervisors voiced public opposition to a proposed jail project.
“The jail population across the state is falling due to the passing of Prop 47, and we have yet to see the full effects of its implementation,” says Diana Zuniga of CURB. “California doesn’t need any more jails. Building more will not only be a slap in the face to Californians, but will be completely wasteful.” Advocates argue that more time is needed to assess the impact of Prop 47, and that counties receiving money for jails will only reverse the progress that has been made.
“Over 60% of those imprisoned in California jails are pretrial, meaning they have not been convicted, and are locked up simply for not being able to afford bail,” says Tash Nguyen of Sin Barras. “While officials want to waste $500 million on new jails, simple bail reform would cost virtually nothing and make more jails completely unnecessary across the state.”
The BSCC was established in 2012 through Realignment (AB109), which was meant to reduce California’s prison population following a federal court order. However, advocates point out that by incentivizing jail construction, the BSCC is merely shifting the burden from the state level to counties. “For too long, our communities have endured California’s imprisonment crisis, and more jails is not going to solve it,” says Debbie Reyes of California Prison Moratorium Project. “Real solutions are in plain sight. It’s time for elected officials to act on them.”
Spokespeople will be available to speak with the press at the mobilization.