We are still waiting for SB 219, the Alternative Custody Program Bill, to be signed by the Governor — and he only has three more days to make that happen.
The Alternative Custody Program (ACP) allows eligible incarcerated parents to finish their sentences outside of prison so they can care for their families.
Can you help us out? Read the rest of 3 More Days – Sign SB 219! »
Yesterday, an important report came out from the Public Policy Institute of CA.
The report highlighted a few points:
1. Prison reforms did not reduce prison spending, despite reducing the prison population by tens of thousands of people.
2. Incarceration rate is at it’s lowest since mid 1990’s
3. Crime rates are at a historical low
4. Realignment has not increased violent crime
What does this report show us? It shows us that incarceration rates, crime rates, and violent crime are at a low, BUT costs are not decreasing.
We know that costs will not decrease until we start closing prisons and stop building new jails in counties throughout the state.
The California legislature has spoken up for family reunification. Earlier this month, they passed SB 219 (Liu), a bill that would expand access to the Alternative Custody Program (ACP), which allows eligible imprisoned parents to finish their sentences outside of prisons so they can care for their families.
SB 219 will expand access to ACP, enact a responsible timeline for application review, provide applicants with an opportunity to appeal, and ensure that all eligible people are part of a more transparent and informed process.
With your help, we’ve been able to move this bill forward to help reunite people with their families and communities, and we are one step away from enacting this law.
Please join me in sending a clear message: Governor Brown, support families!
As a parent and a survivor of imprisonment, I know just how important it is that we take this opportunity to stand up for the parenting rights of people in prison. Read the rest of Gov. Brown: Stand up for families! »
LA No More Jails wanted to let you know that although the LA Board of Supervisors approved a jail plan this month we know it is NOT a done deal.
And we can’t fight this without you. Here are the next few steps you can take with us:
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?
MEDIA CONTACTS: Diana Zuniga—(213) 864-8931, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
What: Press Conference
Where: Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
When: Tuesday, September 1st, 9:00 AM
Who: Californians United for a Responsible Budget; Critical Resistance Los Angeles; Dignity and Power Now; Global Women’s Strike; LA No More Jails Coalition; Youth Justice Coalition; Los Angeles Community Action Network
Los Angeles— On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, community members and grassroots organizations will host a press conference decrying the proposed $2.3 billion jail plan at a Los Angeles Board of Supervisors hearing. The group will instead call for a continued investment in diversion and alternatives to incarceration including, pre-trial release, community-based mental health treatment, housing, The L.A. Board of Supervisors will be discussing a number of things related to the massive jail plan including the creation of an Office of Diversion and Reentry, the creation of a Gender Responsive Advisory Board and a Prop.47 task force.
“The Board of Supervisors is submitting a package of motions, many of which seem to be beneficial and will move us closer towards decarceration,” states Jayda Rasberry of Dignity and Power Now (DPN). “We know if there was at least two years of investment in services and diversion the massive $2.3 billion jail plan would be obsolete. The women’s jail should be stopped. Los Angeles needs to invest in answering the issues women are experiencing now.” Dignity and Power Now released a report with CURB on the human rights abuses in women’s jails and prisons earlier this month.
On August 18th, after an illegal vote, the Board of Supervisors voted to rescind their action to move forward on an Office of Diversion and the massive jail plan. During the weeks between this illegal vote Los Angeles County established the women’s jail project through the State Public Works Board. The coalition submitted a letter questioning the legality of such a move and asking the State Public Works Board to stop the women’s jail from moving forward.
“If the entire vote was shown to be illegal how can the project then be established with the state within this same period of time?,” asks Shabina Toorawa of Critical Resistance Los Angeles. “Our focus should be reduction, family reunification and community programs now, not later when the county sends people 70 miles away from their communities.”
Along with a substantial decrease in the jail population due to Prop 47 and other policies on the board agenda there is a move to develop a Prop.47 task force.
Many advocates believe that Prop. 47 will have a higher impact on women of color. In a recent Sacramento Bee article Susan Burton, of A New Way of Life stated, “If Proposition 47 stalls, women of color will be hit hardest. California is the world’s No. 1 jailer of women, who are three times more likely than men to be in prison for low-level, nonviolent offenses. With racial bias playing a significant role in sentencing, the numbers are even higher for black and brown women.”
The coalition will be available for comment at Tuesday’s press conference. The coalition is pushing towards a stop to the $2.3 billion jail plan, an intentional reduction of people in women’s jails without construction, and supports the investment towards alternatives and diversion that the board is making.
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! »
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 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.
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.
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!