Jail-building frenzy: Alameda County, too?

Dear Supporter,

Just days ago, we learned that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern submitted an application to the state for $80 million dollars of jail construction funds. The Board of Supervisors quietly authorized this move at the end of June, in an apparent effort to avoid the attention and opposition that has risen against new jail plans throughout the state.

CURB members have been fighting jails from Los Angeles and Contra Costa to Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Sheriffs are moving forward with plans for new jail beds, often advertised as “nicer” jails that would supposedly provide treatment and opportunities for rehabilitation. But we know better. We know that what we need are treatment and services based in the community — not in cages.

We have a lot of questions for Sheriff Ahern: Will there be new jail beds? Why a mental health unit in the jail, instead of more services in the community? What better alternatives to incarceration could this money be spent on?

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Diversion, not a new women’s jail!

Dear Supporter,

Thank you for taking action against the massive jail plan and for investment in alternatives that we know will support a strong Los Angeles.

Late last week we saw that there is a package of motions that the board will be discussing on Tuesday which includes the massive jail plan, the creation of an Office of Diversion and Reentry, and the creation of a Gender Responsive Advisory Board and a Prop.47 task force.

The women’s jail is moving faster than any other part of the plan. And we need to tell them to stop the women’s jail plan now!

There are documented human rights abuses that are happening in the current women’s jail and a major need to invest in diversion for people that are experiencing these horrific conditions. Read the rest of Diversion, not a new women’s jail! »

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Thunderclap done, now let’s get 200 letters in!

Dear Supporter,

Thank you to all of those that signed up for our thunderclap. We were able to get 100 people signed up in only three days!

After taking an illegal vote earlier this month, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will meet to re-vote, this Tuesday, on whether to approve a 2 billion dollar jail construction plan AND whether to approve the creation of the Office of Diversion and Reentry.

We need you to tell them building a jail is a bad idea!

We know that these two items should have been dealt with separately in the first place. We also know that spending $2 billion on jails instead of investing it in our communities does not move us towards building a healthy Los Angeles.

Read the rest of Thunderclap done, now let’s get 200 letters in! »

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Thunderclap our message!

Sign up for the thunderclap!            Share on facebook and twitter!

 

 

Dear Supporter,

Last week the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, with a surprise and illegal vote, took one step forward and two more backwards when they voted to support the creation of an Office of Diversion and Reentry along with the massive jail plan. 

This week, after lots of public scrutiny, they decided to revisit the motion on September 1st.

Will you thunderclap our message with us? 

For the next week we will be asking you to stand with us and take a series of actions to let the board know that we do not want more jails for Los Angeles and we want to celebrate their commitment to diversion with them.

1) Sign up for the thunderclap! Once we get 100 people signed up we will be able to amplify our message through social media.

2) Come out on September 1st to 500 W. Temple St. LA, 90012

Imprisonment exacerbates mental and medical health problems, breaks up families, and takes away vital economic and emotional support from entire communities.

We know that our communities needs something different. Just check out the video in our thunderclap and sign up!

We hope to see you on Sept. 1st. We need you to continue the fight against expansion in Los Angeles!

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Welcome our new hire!

Join us on August 24th! 


Dear Supporter,
We are very excited and pleased to be welcoming Lizzie Buchen as our new Statewide Advocacy and Communications Co-Coordinator!

Lizzie is currently the Communications and Policy Analyst for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. She has a wide range of great experience that includes training and supporting people inside San Quentin to produce San Quentin News, communications for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and independent journalism in a variety of topics.

If you are in the bay we would like to invite you to the CURB Anti-Prison Happy Hour where you can meet Lizzie!

When: Monday, August 24, 2015 from 6-8pm

Where: SomaR Bar,1727 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

Be sure to RSVP here, and join us for good music, good people and good vibes at the CURB Anti-Prison Happy Hour Mixer!

You will hear more from Lizzie soon and she will be visiting other parts of California.

Thank you everyone for the support during this process and come out to welcome Lizzie!

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Tuesday – County to Vote on Jail Expansion!

Take Action Here!

Dear Supporter,

FAME has joined the City of Richmond and a wide array of health, faith, labor, and civil rights groups, to protest the Contra Costa County sheriff’s plan to construct a new $89 million expansion, adding 418 beds.

It’s a critical time to stand up against mass incarceration as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is on the verge of voting for a massive jail expansion at the West County Detention Facility.

There are two things you can do this final week before the vote to STOP this tragic use of funds, UNLOCK our communities, and END mass incarceration.

1) Email the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors right now!

2) Rally and give public comment against the expansion at the Board of Supervisors Meeting.

When: Tuesday, August 19th at 9am

Where: 651 Pine Street, Martinez, 94553

We need you to take action right now. Contra Costa needs funds for education, jobs, housing, and health care, NOT jails!

Hope to see you at the vote and appreciate you taking action.

In community,

Kristi Laughlin

The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy, Director

Ally of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

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For Immediate Release: No More Jails Action on Tuesday, 8/11/15

Contacts:
Diana Zuniga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)
Diana@curbprisonspending.org / 213-864-8931

Kim McGill, Youth Justice Coalition / kim@youth4justice.org / 323-327-1259

On the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Community Organizations, People Who Have Been Detained in County Jails, and Our Families and Loved ones will Gather to Push the
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to support creation of an “Office for Diversion Services” and Denounce the Jail Report Released Last Week by Health Management Associates
Supporting Jail Construction

What:  Press Conference, Rally and Public Comment: On the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, community organizations, people who have been detained in County jails, our families and loved ones will gather to ask – What really has changed in a County that still locks up more people than any other place in the world and still has the highest numbers of law enforcement use of force resulting in homicide – both within jails and on the street? Those gathered will push the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to support creation of an “Office for Diversion Services” and to reject the recommendations released last week by Health Management Associates supporting new jail construction. Instead, community leaders will continue to push for a reinvestment in economic strategies and employment opportunities that allow people to support their families; a 50% reallocation of AB109 Realignment dollars; and full implementation of cost effective and humane strategies to decrease the jail population in Los Angeles and break Los Angeles’ long addiction to incarceration.

Where:  Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple, LA, CA 90012

When: 9:30AM • Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Who: The LA No More Jails Coalition, led by people who have been detained in county jails, our families, loved ones, and multiple organizations working to promote alternatives to detention and incarceration including Amity Foundation, C+ CHE, Critical Resistance LA, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), Community Coalition, Dignity and Power Now, Drug Policy Alliance, ENLACE, Fair Chance Project, Global Women’s Strike, If the SHU Fits Collaborative, Inglewood Regional Reentry Partnership, Los Angeles Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Los Angeles Labor Fest, Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, South Los Angeles Reintegration Council, and the Youth Justice Coalition.

Background:  For the past 4 years, the L.A. NO MORE JAILS COALITION has blocked L.A.’s Multi – BILLION $ jail expansion plan and exposed the back door financing strategies that use Lease Revenue Bonds (LRBs) to fund Construction. LRBs don’t require that officials ask the public to vote whether they want more prison and jails, despite the fact that recent polls confirm that Californians are opposed to new jail and prison construction. Last Tuesday, Health Management Associates (HMA) – hired by L.A. County to assess the size needed for new jail construction – reported back to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Their recommendation was that a new jail is needed at the same or greater size than the most recent plan pushed by the Sheriffs Department.

HMA’s determination was based on flawed data, using projected county population growth as the only determining factor.  HMA:

  1. Did not recognize that crime in Los Angeles has dropped consistently over the past 15 years–reaching the lowest levels since the 1950’s;
  2. Did not acknowledge that L.A. County has invested virtually nothing in community based alternatives to custody;
  3. Did notinclude in their analysis numerous strategies for reducing L.A.’s jail population including use of O.R. (release on own recognizance); bail reform; split sentencing; release of terminally and seriously ill people, elderly and disabled people; or ending the use of jail for low level warrants and misdemeanors;
  4. Supported the call by L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Sheriff McDonnell to create community-based treatment for people with mental health conditions, but did notinclude any population reductions that would be realized through this strategy; and
  5. Repeatedly raised the concern that the there was no “capacity” in the community to provide alternatives to detention and incarceration, implying that this made jail expansion necessary, despite the fact that numerous groups have provided reentry and diversion services for years with little to no public support, and despite the fact that HMA also repeatedly admitted that jail construction is needed because the current jail system also “lacks the capacity needed to adequately care for people.”  Why is lack of community capacity an argument against building alternatives, while lack of jail capacity is an argument for building more jails?

It’s not surprising that HMA produced a report lacking vision, understanding, compassion or common sense. After all, HMA is partly in business to design jail and prison healthcare systems. HMA states on its website that: “Correctional health care is big business. Whether direct service, contract or fully privatized care, HMA has the policy know-how and technical resources to rein in rising costs without compromising care.”

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More Construction or Community Solutions?

            

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Dear Supporter,

My name is Diana Valenzuela and I am interning with CURB this summer to support media work.

Last week I went to my first LA Board of Supervisors meeting and there were so many moving pieces around the jail plan that it was hard to keep up. I couldn’t help but notice that despite DA Lacey’s proposal for a mental health diversion — jail expansion in LA is still being proposed.

That is why we need you to come out again tomorrow. Meet us at the LA Board of Supervisors at 9:30am!

This is what I gathered:

1) LA Board of Supervisors halted the jail plan for 45 days to ask a consultant to assess the need for beds based and community based capacity.

2) They hired Health Care Management Associates. Last week, the new consultant recommended the building of almost 6,000 beds for the replacement to Men’s Central Jail.

And on top of that there are 1,616 beds moving forward for the women’s jail! The report we released with Dignity and Power Now paints another picture. 

3) Our members and the Supervisors, especially Supervisor Kuehl, were suprised by the presentation given by HMA and asked how many people could actually be diverted. HMA could not answer!

4) Now we heard of a new motion that would create an “Office for Diversion Services” and give millions of dollars to support community solutions and alternatives to jails.

This is an exciting time! The jail plan is still on the table, but the LA Board of Supervisors have been listening and are now creating an office that would be responsible for diversion.

Will you come out tomorrow? Can’t come out, read the report about the conditions women are experiencing inside the LA County jails and share! 

When: Tomorrow – Tuesday, August 11 at 9:30am

Where: 500 West Temple St. Los Angeles 90012

We can’t do this without you and we will continue to need you in this fight against expansion in Los Angeles!

In Solidarity, 

Diana Valenzuela

Media Intern

Californians United for a Responsible Budget  

 

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To End Prisoner Deaths in SF Jail, We Need #NoNewSFJail

Supporter,

This week we’re deeply saddnened to hear that a third person has died in the San Francisco County Jail this year: Alberto Carlos Petrolino died on July 27, following Alvin Haynes in January and David Perry in March.

Say NO to a New Jail in SF!

#NoMoreJails

Petrolino’s death is being ruled as a “suicide” yet the cause of death has yet to be determined. With the recent in-custody deaths of Sandra Bland and Sarah Lee Circle Bear, a Lakota woman in South Dakota, we are connecting the dots across the country, and must redouble our efforts to make our  demands heard: No New SF Jail!

We know that jails and prisons are inherently violent places. Black, trans, and women of color face uncertain circumstances once locked up. SF Sheriffs have already proven to be racist and have sexually assaulted people inside.

Petrolino’s recent death is further evidence that we simply do not need a new jail; any expansion of this system clearly means more violence. The solutions are clear: pre-arrest diversion, bail reform, quality affordable mental health services, and housing.

We’ve had three powerful mobilizations in July to pressure on city officials to fund alternatives like mental health care and supportive housing instead. We mobilized dozens of community organizations and residents to speak powerfully about the alternatives to imprisonment we need and demand in SF, persuading Supervisor London Breed to state that she “saw no compelling reason to build a new jail in SF.” We successfully reached Supervisor Jane Kim, who published this compelling SF Chronicle Op Ed the following week. The fight is growing!

This month we are gearing up to engage more people in this fight. Contact the Coalition if you would like to host a presentation, circulate our petition, or have the Coalition table at your community event: nosfjail@curbprisonspending.org

We need your help to stop the new jail. We demand that no more people die while in custody. We demand #NoNewSFJail!

In Solidarity,

Lisa Marie Alatorre
San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness
A member of Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), a CURB member organization.


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What would you build with $2 billion?

            

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Dear Supporter,

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.

What would you do for your community with $2 billion?

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!

Will you share this video and join us on Tuesday??

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!

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