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.
Just the other day, I was out in the dayroom hoping to get a chance to use the phone to call my family. It’s always crowded, filled with noise and frustration bouncing off the steel and concrete that surrounds us on all sides. Even after 35 years of this, it remains a jarring experience.
On one of the high bare walls is a bulletin board crowded with memorandums telling us what we can’t have, what we can’t do, and what we shouldn’t be expecting. Off to one side, some of us tape up bits of information men need to know.
Several guys were discussing some bills that have been introduced into the California Legislature over the past year. Elder Parole (SB 224), the Alternative Custody Program (SB 219), and the Program Credits (AB 512) bills were all generating a lot of interest. I saw something on the faces of my fellow prisoners I don’t often see around here – hope. CURB has fought hard for all those bills.
Years ago, when Emily Harris asked me to become a part of the CURB National Advisory Board, I immediately agreed because I knew CURB to be an organization actually out there in the trenches fighting.
Right now, CURB is working to raise $25,000 in direct donations and recruit ten new monthly sustainers. I’m asking you to dig deep and help CURB reach that goal.
Here’s what your money invests in:
If 250 people donate $100 each, CURB will reach their goal of $25,000. And how about ten people ready to step up and sign on as a monthly sustainer? I’ve got to believe you are out there.
Speaking as a very long-term prisoner, I can tell you how important hope is to surviving this experience. Every time I see a picture of Diana, looking fierce and unafraid with a bullhorn in her hands, in the midst of our mothers and children, it sends a shiver up my spine and swells my heart with hope.
Thank you so much for remembering us in here.
Kenneth E. Hartman
National Advisory Board Member
Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Join us this Friday, June 26 to deliver our message loud and clear in the Capitol:
Stop flooding our communities with the threat of new cages!
Pull the plug on jail construction money!
This is the final year for politicians in Sacramento to distribute $500 million dollars for jail construction. We need to stop that money and speak out about the real needs of our communities. We need funding to go to quality resources, such as housing, healthcare, education and alternatives to imprisonment, not more jails.
What: BSCC Bidders’ Conference // Press Conference
When: Friday, June 26 – 8 am // 12:30 pm
Where: 1500 Capitol Ave., Sacramento
Join us and take action this Friday to stop jail expansion in your county. From Los Angeles to Alameda to San Francisco, California’s county leaders are increasingly realizing that new jails are harmful and wasteful, and alternatives to imprisonment are desirable investments, because of our ongoing efforts. We need to keep the pressure on!
We need to pull the plug on jails and POWER UP our communities! We will not let sheriffs or decision-makers inundate us with bigger jails when our communities are ready for real solutions that don’t rely on imprisonment and punishment. See you on Friday!
Interim Media Assistant
Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Tomorrow, the SF City Planning Commission needs to hear your voice! The Planning Department is trying to short cut the process and force through plans for a new jail. They have tried to declare that there will be no significant impact to SF by filing a “mitigated negative declaration.” San Franciscans won’t stand for this!
Join us as we demand a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR)! Because over 160 people submitted public comment in opposition, our appeal will be heard in a public hearing tomorrow. Now is the time to take action against a new jail.
We need everyone to come out and voice their concerns at the appeals hearing:
What: Public Hearing on Appeals
When: Thursday, June 25 – After 12pm – Agenda Item #4
Where: SF City Hall, Room 400
A jail is not healthy for the environment or community. If built, the jail will create many impacts to the neighborhood that have not been sufficiently studied: noise, air quality, loss of parking, wind and shadow on the playground at Victoria Manalo park. And, as if this were not enough, the nearby SRO tenants will likely lose their home. Furthermore, it is troubling that prisoner exercise yards will be open to toxic freeway smog. We demand the city conduct a full Environmental Impact Report that includes studying alternatives and a no-build option.
We can stop this jail, and we will. See you tomorrow at City Hall!
Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget and No New SF Jail Coalition
P.S., This Friday, join CURB member organizations in a statewide mobilization against jail expansion in Sacramento! RSVP today!
The No New SF Jail Coalition will be holding a day of action TODAY! Join us in a public hearing and rally on Alternatives to Jail Rebuild. This is another opportunity for us to demand San Francisco to invest in the resources that will strengthen our communities, not more cages.
What: Press Conference // Public Hearing // “Invest in Alternatives” Rally
When: Today, June 18th – 1 pm // 2 pm // 5 pm
Where: SF City Hall, Room 34 // Room 250 // In front of City Hall
Join us TODAY to make our demand clear: NO NEW JAIL! Let’s demonstrate that alternatives to jails and policing are what our communities really need. See you later!
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget and No New SF Coalition
P.S., Next week, join CURB member organizations in a statewide mobilization against jail expansion in Sacramento! RSVP today!
Together, we’ve been building a broad movement that speaks to the real needs of our communities: we need quality resources and alternatives to imprisonment, not more jails. We are at a crucial moment to band together: this is the final year for politicians in Sacramento to distribute $500 million dollars for jail construction, and we’re ready to halt that money!
Stop flooding our communities with the threat of new cages! Pull the plug on jail construction money!
Los Angeles is pausing their plans for jail construction and assessing alternatives to imprisonment. San Francisco is holding a hearing on “Alternatives to a Jail Rebuild.” The time is now. We won’t let sheriffs or decision-makers inundate us with bigger jails when our communities are ready for real solutions that don’t rely on imprisonment and punishment.
Get ready to take action:
CURB members will be uniting in full force and we’re calling on you to mobilize with us. Come speak out for your communities and together we’ll demand “Pull the plug! No more jail construction money in California!” Can’t make it but want to help? Support travel funds for CURB member organizations here.
California Prison Moratorium Project
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget
The Riverside County Budget is prioritizing $332 million for jail construction. On Monday, the Board of Supervisors will be discussing how to move forward with this plan.
We want community solutions, not more jails. Jail expansion will bankrupt our county and lead to a divestment from crucial needs like emergency health services, educational services, child and welfare supportive services, housing development, arts programs and libraries.
The Alternatives to Jail Expansion Coalition is asking you to come SPEAK OUT against jail expansion and TELL YOUR STORY about successes in the community for re-entry!
What: Press Conference before the Riverside County Budget Hearing
When: Monday, June 15 12 – 2pm
Where: Riverside County Administrative Bldg., 4080 Lemon St., Riverside 92501
We won’t stop until this jail plan is cancelled— and we need your support. Instead of building more cages, we need to invest in safety net services and evidence-based programs that work to build strong and sustainable communities.
All of Us or None Riverside
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget
P.S., Join us in a statewide mobilization against jail expansion on June 26th in Sacramento! RSVP today!