Community Members Raise Environmental Impact Concerns of Controversial Los Angeles Women’s Jail Build

For Immediate Release – Sept 17, 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget diana@curbprisonspending.org or 213-864-8931

What: Public Environmental Impact Report and Scoping Meeting
When: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM
Where: American Heroes Park – Community Room, 701 W. Kettering Ave., Lancaster.
Who: Advocates, community leaders, and concerned citizens will be there for public comment.

CURB’s Letter RE Initial Environmental Impact Report 9.17.14

Los Angeles— Plans to build a new 1,604-bed jail for women in the City of Lancaster at the vacant Mira Loma Detention Center have generated responses of confusion and outrage in Los Angeles County and across the state.  At Thursday’s public scoping meeting citizens are asking for two additional public meetings to be scheduled after the first Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR) is released—one meeting in Lancaster and one in the greater Los Angeles area—and they demand the DEIR be translated into Spanish to allow for more public input into this process.  They are demanding that the Environmental Impact Study address, in depth, the environmental conditions that would impact the health of those who would be incarcerated on the premises as well as their families and children, and people employed at the jail.

“The City of Lancaster and Los Angeles County do not need more jail cells, and there isn’t any support in the community to build them,” says César M. Vega Magallón of Antelope Valley Dream Team.  “Lancaster residents, like the rest of Los Angeles County, struggle every day with substandard housing, over-crowded schools, a lack of social services, low-wage jobs, dirty industry mixed in with residential sites, industrial truck traffic, few healthy fooScreen Shot 2014-09-17 at 12.39.36 PMd outlets, and severe air pollution.  The proposed cost of building and operating yet another jail in the Antelope Valley would best be spent on resources that preempt the need for jails.  For the growing Latino and immigrant populations in the AV, funding prisons and jails over the community’s basic necessities is irresponsible at best, and at worst it’s downright destructive.”

The initial report states the location has non-attainment for Particulates and has severe non-attainment for Ozone, which can negatively impact the health of people in this particular region.  Ozone is a cause of asthma and has been determined to cause harmful effects on people with respiratory issues and other vulnerabilities.

“The proposed women’s jail will pull families apart and damage the health of the people incarcerated.  Realignment was implemented to help prisoners’ transition into the community and keep them closer to their supportive network.  Sending people from Lynwood to Lancaster, a nearly 80 mile commute, will interfere with their ability to interact and be with their loved ones, the very people who aid in the process of rehabilitation and overcoming the traumas of imprisonment,” says Cindy Delgado of the Youth Justice Coalition. “The imprisoned women of Los Angeles need support and alternatives based in the community, not another jail that will destroy their health and well-being.”

The site is “identified in government databases as having a hazardous waste generator and is [also] the site of aboveground and underground fuel storage tanks,” according to the initial report.  Previous studies reported in an article titled Death Dust, by Dana Goodyear, in the New Yorker (January 2014) states, “The highest rate of infection is in the Antelope Valley, a rapidly developing outpost of the county that adjoins the southern edge of the San Joaquin Valley.  In the past decade, the number of [valley fever] cases has increased by five hundred and forty-five percent.”  There is no analysis of valley fever in the initial report.

“We don’t need more jails,” Mary Sutton of Critical Resistance. “There are dozens of innovative policy initiatives used in other counties that have proven to reduce the jail population, increase public safety and save taxpayer dollars.  Why not implement them in Los Angeles?  Not to mention all the health implications that come along with this irresponsible and costly jail plan.”

Lastly, in consideration of California facing a historic drought, the initial report further notes that Antelope Valley has been engaged in a drawn out adjudication process to decide if property owners or public water suppliers have the rights to the scarce amount of water available.

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Exposing a national crisis in Black mental health behind bars

Printed September 10, 2014 in the SF BayView

by Mark-Anthony Johnson

When Dr. Samuel Cartwright coined the term “drapetomania” in 1864, he advanced a historical agenda to secure Black subjugation in America. Cartwright’s diagnosis of the desire for freedom amongst enslaved Africans as a form of psychosis exposes two important realities about mental health in the United States.On Aug. 12, Mark-Anthony Johnson and Lynwood social worker Kristina Ronnquist pause at the entrance of the United Nations in Geneva, where they submitted the Dignity and Power Now report, “Impact of Disproportionate Incarceration and Abuse of Black People with Mental Health Conditions in World’s Largest Jail System“ for review of U.S. compliance with the International Convention to Eliminate all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

On Aug. 12, Mark-Anthony Johnson and Lynwood social worker Kristina Ronnquist pause at the entrance of the United Nations in Geneva, where they submitted the Dignity and Power Now report, Impact of Disproportionate Incarceration and Abuse of Black People with Mental Health Conditions in World’s Largest Jail System.“ for review of U.S. compliance with the International Convention to Eliminate all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

First, the mental health of people of color in the United States, specifically Black people, is not a neutral arena. It is a critical battleground where racist ideologies have leveraged medical justifications for restricting Black people’s freedom.

Secondly, the mental health infrastructure in the United States, and lack thereof, is an expression of the historical agenda that Dr. Cartwright’s claim to fame represents. Promoting “drapetomania” as a clinical diagnosis only a year before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed posed strategic value to the Confederacy, which was being threatened by a civil war and needing to refine its justifications for chattel slavery in the United States.

The current crisis of criminalizing and incarcerating Black people with mental health conditions across the country is an extension of these two historical trends.

Dignity-Power-Now-UN-report-cover-0814Over a period of two days, the United States was questioned and challenged by 18 U.N. committee experts who critiqued the nation’s deficiencies in addressing racial disparities. Our shadow report was an intervention not only in the local county conversation, but also on an international stage to expose a national crisis of criminalizing Black people’s mental health in the United States.

What does this crisis look like?

On any given day, Black people are six times more likely than White people to be incarcerated in the United States, and 63 percent of those Black people in local jails across the country have some form of a mental health condition (2006). Los Angeles makes key contributions to this trend, as Black people are 9 percent of the county population and 43.7 percent of its jail population diagnosed with “serious mental illness.”

Dignity & Power Now UN report cover 0814The factors that account for this disproportionate impact are numerous. Black people, for example, are more likely to be misdiagnosed and at the same time less likely to receive the most effective treatments. Black people with mental health conditions are two to three times more likely than people of other races to be incarcerated as limited access to services increases the risk of incarceration.

The lack of community services, barriers to accessing them and lack of quality treatment upon access results in a systemic equation whereby “treatment” for Black people means incarceration.

Los Angeles is the largest jail system in the world. Additionally, the three largest mental health “treatment” facilities in the country – Los Angeles’ Twin Towers, Chicago’s Cook County Jail, and Rikers Island in New York – are all jail facilities.

In fact the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that California needed to reduce its overcrowding that was exposing prisoners to greater risks of violence, medical neglect and abuse, lack of mental health care, and death. The realization that jails operate as de facto mental health facilities has gained more traction in recent years; however, the response has not been comprehensive or substantial enough to remedy the problem.

The situation of the mentally ill in jail is so dangerous and oppressive that the Department of Justice found unconstitutional conditions for the mental health population in  LA County Jail system (May 2014) and a high level of physical abuse and the violations of rights for adolescents in New York’s Rikers Island Jail – particularly those with mental health conditions (August 2014). That tells us that the crisis persists.

Dr. Samuel Cartwright’s term “drapetomania,” coined in 1864, labeled the desire for freedom amongst enslaved Africans as a form of psychosis.
In fact, since the Civil Rights of Incarcerated Peoples Act was passed in 1997, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has found violations of the constitutional rights of people with mental health conditions in 35 correctional facilities across 25 states. Los Angeles is just one of the more recent exposures.

Despite these conditions, the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics has no mechanism for the regular collecting of intersectional data based on the race and gender of incarcerated people with mental health conditions across the country. This creates serious barriers to monitoring the local and national trends.

Why is Los Angeles relevant?

As Los Angeles County develops plans for the diversion of people with mental health needs from the jails, it is also expanding jail capacity. It continues to stay the course despite the copious evidence and stories from our loved ones leaving the jails, that incarceration exacerbates mental health conditions.

In fact, in recent years there has been a movement for specialized detention facilities that are being couched as more responsive to the needs of prisoners. Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) has been pushing back against the county and state push for “gender responsive” prisons and jails – the tagline for women’s facilities.

Though Los Angeles County claims to be planning to divert many mentally ill people from jail, its new jail plan is to tear down Men’s Central and erect a new “mental health jail” for the high number of mentally ill in the jail now.

Guest commentary in the LA Daily News by Patrisse Cullors-Brignac of Dignity and Power Now (DPN) and Diana Zuñiga of CURB explains why those of us fighting jail expansion think A mental health jail is an oxymoron; diversion is what’s needed.

The push for category specific incarceration further entrenches our loved ones into a system that cannot protect their rights, safety or humanity. In fact, Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald recently reported to the Board of Supervisors that there has been a 47 percent increase in use of force at Century Regional Detention Facility, Los Angeles County’s dedicated women’s jail facility.

She attributed this increase to the rise in the mental health population at the facility. The pursuit of both mental health diversion and jail expansion undermines any comprehensive effort to address the crisis at its root.

A comprehensive diversion program would make use of services that have already proven to be effective, including Full Service Partnerships and Aggressive Community Treatment. Additionally, it is important that we are imaginative in how we envision the services our people deserve.

Job training and permanent job placement, permanent housing, and supportive services that include the intimate networks of those directly impacted are key to the long-term sustainability of mental health diversion.

The logic underlying the continuation and funding of the mass incarceration of the disproportionately Black mentally ill and Dr. Cartwright’s medical breakthroughs is the same: Black people’s mental health cannot be achieved, so society has to maintain extreme and inhumane restrictions on their freedom.

Mark-Anthony Johnson is a member of Dignity and Power Now (DPN) (www.endsheriffviolence.org). DPN, a multi-racial grassroots organization in Los Angeles and a member organization of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), fights for the dignity and power of incarcerated people and survivors of sheriff violence and their families with the goal of ending state violence and mass incarceration. Mark-Anthony and DPN can be reached at endsheriffviolence@gmail.com and can receive mail at the CURB LA office: P.O. Box 73688, LA CA 90003.

 

 

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Thank You from #NoMoreJails

Dear Supporter,

My name is Christina and I have been working with Los Angeles No More Jails (LANMJ) as a member of Critical Resistance LA for the past few months.  I am now taking the CURB Media Internship to help our Los Angeles crew persuade more Angelenos to stand up and speak out against jail expansion.

Los Angeles No More Jails is thanking all of you for coming out and participating in our #NoMoreJails Caravan last month.

I was inspired to see so many people from various organizations in Southern California all teaming up to voice their opposition to the proposed construction of the 1,604-bed jail for women at the former Mira Loma Detention Center.

It was amazing to see the use of the hashtag #NoMoreJails across several social media platforms, which captured the momentum of the day and still continues to extend the life of our unified opposition against expansion.

Thank you to all that came out to document and experience this important day.  Our presence was seen and felt through the inspiring photographs taken from our rally at Lynwood and creative action in Lancaster, and also the media coverage that we continue to share out. 

Expansion is happening everywhere, and we are sick of it.  This wasn’t our first fight and it won’t be our last.  Thanks again for your continued support in strengthening this fight against expansion. And please contact us if you want to get more involved!

Looking forward,


Christina Tsao
Media Intern for Californians United for a Responsible Budget

             


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Announcement – 2 Fall Anti-Prison Internships 

Fall 2014

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) has two exciting internships available in our Oakland or Los Angeles office.  We are looking for enthusiastic, self-starting, hardworking candidates.  We are a statewide alliance of organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California.

Development Internship overview:

CURB is seeking an Intern who can assist the organization in some of the following areas: generating broad community support for reducing the number of people in prison in California; cultivating relationships with potential & current donors; coordinating the logistics of various fundraising activities (direct mailings, thank you cards, events etc.), supporting grant writing and media campaigns; maintaining organizational website & social media; assisting with administrative tasks; helping with grassroots organizing and outreach efforts; recruiting future interns and other duties as necessary.

The internship provides the opportunity to gain experience in grassroots fundraising, research, outreach, grant writing, grassroots organizing, media campaigns, coalition and movement building. Working directly with the Statewide Coordinator & Field Organizer the intern will have the opportunity to develop leadership, organizing & development skills while working alongside an amazing group of anti-prison activists.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Solid computer, social media and editing skills
  • Prior fundraising or community organizing experience
  • Commitment to racial and social justice or a background in prison issues
  • Interest in building grassroots fundraising skills and working in a small organization with limited resources
  • Available to attend weekly meetings on Thursdays from 2pm-3pm


Organizing and Advocacy Internship
 overview:

CURB is seeking an Intern who can assist the organization in some of the following areas: generating broad community support for reducing the number of people in prison in California; maintaining connections between CURB and people inside prison through written correspondence; supporting media campaigns; maintaining organizational website; assisting with administrative tasks; helping with grassroots organizing and outreach efforts; supporting legislative advocacy; recruiting future interns and volunteers; help expand our current volunteer program and other duties as necessary.

The internship provides the opportunity to gain experience in research, outreach, grassroots organizing, media campaigns, coalition and movement building, public education, policy advocacy and social justice work. Working directly with the Statewide Coordinator and Field Organizer the intern(s) will have the opportunity to develop leadership and organizing skills while working alongside an amazing group of anti-prison activists.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Solid computer skills
  • Prior community organizing or advocacy experience
  • Commitment to racial and social justice or a background in prison issues
  • Interest in working in a small organization with limited resources
  • Available to attend monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from 6-8pm

Interns are asked to make a minimum commitment of 3 months to the organization and to meet a number of work hours agreed upon in advance with the alliance. All positions are unpaid, opportunity to receive school credit or funding is allowed if offered by the candidates program.

Californians United for a Responsible Budget is committed to investing in the leadership of people of color and formerly incarcerated people.  All interested individuals, including women, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, and queer and trans people are encouraged to apply.

To apply, e-mail your resume, and cover letter, to Emily Harris at emily@curbprisonspending.org. Please put “CURB Internship” in the subject line and let us know which Internship you are applying for and which office you’d want to work in.  Feel free to contact Emily with any questions 510-435-1176.

Our Oakland office is located near the corner of Webster and 14th St. and is served by the 12th Street BART, and multiple bus lines. The office is wheelchair accessible.

Our Los Angeles office is located at the Chuco’s Justice Center at 1137 E. Redondo Blvd. in Inglewood.  The office is not wheelchair accessible.

For more information about CURB visit: www.curbprisonspending.org to read more about our current interns visit: http://curbprisonspending.org/about/meet-the-interns/

 

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End Police Violence & Mass Incarceration in Ferguson and Everywhere

We stand with the family of Mike Brown, the people of Ferguson, and those traveling from across the country to Missouri this weekend for the Black Lives Matter Ride, as they continue to stand up for justice and fight back against state violence in our communities.  Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 12.29.26 PM

We continue to envision a world where deadly racism doesn’t plague our communities, where policing and imprisonment are not used to answer the social and economic problems we endures.

What we are seeing in Ferguson reminds us of all the Black and Brown, named and unnamed, who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement. We continue to stand with and fight for Ferguson after Mike Brown’s murder; Oakland after Oscar Grant’s murder; Santa Cruz after Frank Alvarez’s murder; Los Angeles after Ezell Ford’s murder; and countless other communities who continue to endure police brutality, arrest and imprisonment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.51.17 PMRacism is a core component of our criminal legal system. From police contact, to arrest, to charges, to convictions, to sentences, to parole: racism determines who moves to the next step in the system and how inhumanely people are treated along the way.

While Black people are 13% of the US population, they make up more than a third of those killed by police across the country. Here in California – like the rest of the nation – Black men are dramatically more likely to be imprisoned than any other group of people. Black men are 6.6% of our state population but 29% of our prison population.

This weekend, we encourage you to follow the Black Life Matters Ride,” a national call to action and a slogan under which Black people can unite to end state-sanctioned violence in Ferguson and across the country.

The lives and losses of our people inside and outside the prison walls will not be forgotten. We ask that you stand with us as we continue to organize against these assaults on our communities.

In solidarity and unity,

Diana Zuñiga
Statewide Field Organizer

Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Patrisse Cullors-Brignac
Dignity and Power Now
A member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

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Aug: 20th – Los Angeles Letter to the Editor Training

CURB’s media team has developed a Letter to the Editor Training, to help facilitate the creation of our Letter to the Editor Rapid Response Team. url(1)The next training will be next week Los Angeles!

Letters to the editor are a quick and easy way to influence reporters, editorial boards and public opinion and a great way to practice our arguments and talking points.

All CURB members and people working with LA No More Jails are invited and welcome to participate. Please join us on Wednesday, August 20 from 6pm-7:30pm. We’ll send a reminder, materials and the agenda prior to the training to all folks who RSVP.

RSVP Here—> http://bit.ly/LTE-LA

 

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LA Residents Caravan 70 Miles to Raise Awareness on Wasteful Jail Expansion

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- August 15, 2014
Press Contact:
Diana Zuniga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget – 213.864.8931 or diana@curbprisonspending.org

Spanish: Antonio Elizondo, Dream Team LA – 310.462.7253 or antonio.river.elizondo@gmail.com
When: August 16th, 2014

  • 9-10:30am: Rally Lynwood Jail (11705 S. Alameda, Lynwood, CA 90262
  • 11am-2pm: Car caravan to former Mira Loma Detention Center
  • 2-4pm: Art Action and Rally at Mira Loma Detention Center with Freedom Harvest (4501 60th St. W. Lancaster, CA 93536)

Social Media: @curbprisons, #StopExpansion, #KeepFamiliesTogether, and #NoMoreJails #keepfamiliestogether

Los Angeles – On August 16th, Southern Californians will mobilize to oppose the proposed 1,604-bed jail for women at the Mira Loma detention center in Lancaster. This is not an isolated case of incarceration expansion. Other proposed expansions include a Mental Health jail in LA, a Disability Accessible prison in San Diego, a Gender Responsive prison in McFarland, and a “Women’s Wing” in the Adelanto Detention Center. Organizations from Los Angeles will first stage a rally at the Lynwood Jail in LA and then caravan 70 miles to Mira Loma to pressure the Board to stop funding jail construction projects that harm our communities. A solidarity rally will be held later in the afternoon at the Mira Loma facility.

“Angelenos do not need more jails,” says Dayvon Williams, youth organizer for the Youth Justice Coalition. “They hurt our communities. Study after study commissioned by California counties show that locking people up does not create safer communities. Multiple reports recommend alternative ways of reducing the number of people locked up. It makes more sense to use resources for life-affirming programs, job programs and services that will improve our lives.”
“Counties need to justify their application for state funds by showing that there are strategies in place to support people released from prisons and jails to reduce recidivism rates and the population behind bars, but that isn’t happening,” says Christina Tsao of Critical Resistance-Los Angeles. “It looks like Los Angeles County is deliberately not implementing population reduction strategies so they can continue expanding their already sprawling system of prisons and jails.”

Activists in other Southern California counties will be participating in solidarity actions in San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside. All of these locations are experiencing expansion of some kind.

“People of color, immigrants and poor people have been deliberately targeted by over 30 years of unjust criminal justice policies. Entire communities have been devastated, impoverished and disenfranchised, while billions are being spent in prison, jail, and detention centers construction, ” says Antonio Elizondo of Dream Team LA. “But people from across the state are sick of it and they are coming together to continue fighting back against these attacks. Now is the time for county and state politicians to get with the programs, or get out of the way.”

English and Spanish speaking spokespeople will be available throughout the day.

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CURB Twitter Chat #NoMoreJails

Twitter chat (3)

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Construyamos Comunidades Fuertes, No Mas Jaulas

PARA PUBLICACION IMMEDIATA-AGOSTO 16, 2014

LOS ANGELESScreen Shot 2014-08-15 at 2.29.38 PM
Contacto de Prensa: Diana Zuniga, Californianos Unidos por un Presupuesto Responsable (CURB) – 213.864.8931
Que: Caravana y Marcha/ Conferencia de Prensa
Cuando: Agosto 16th, 2014 a las 9:00 am
Donde: Inicio de la marcha en la Carcel de Lynwood (11705 S Alameda Ave Lynwood, CA 90262)
Marcha en Mira Loma (45100 60th St. W, Lancaster, CA 93536)
Quien: Coalicion “No Mas Carceles” de Los Angeles

Los Angeles- El 16 de Agosto, habitantes del Sur de California se mobilizaran para oponerse a la propuesta para construir una carcel con capacidad de 1,604 espacios en el centro de detencion de Mira Loma en la ciudad de Lancaster. Esta propuesta no es un caso aislado de expansion de carceles en California. Otras propuestas para expander carceles incluyen una carcel de salud mental en Los Angeles, una carcel con accesso para desabilitados en San Diego, una carcel sensible al genero en McFarland, y una “Seccion de Mujeres” en el centro de detencion de Adelanto. Varias organizaciones de los angeles iniciaran con una marcha en la carcel de Lynwood en Los Angeles, y despues viajaran en una caravana de 70 millas hacia el centro de detencion de Mira Loma en Lancaster, esto con la intencion de poner presion a la Junta de Supervisores de el Condado de Los Angeles para que deje de financiar proyectos de construccion de carceles que dañan a nuestras comunidades. Una marcha en solidaridad sera llevada a cabo por la tarde en el centro de detencion de Mira Loma.

“Los habitantes de Los Angeles no necesitan mas carceles” dice Dayvon Williams, un joven organizador de la Coalicion de Justicia para los Jovenes ( Youth Justice Coalition ). “Las carceles dañan a nuestras comunidades. Estudio tras estudio comisionado por condades de California demuestran que encerrar a la gente no crea comunidades mas seguras. Al contrario, varios reportes recomiendan usar alternativas a la encarcerlacion para reducir la poblacion de las carceles. Tiene sentido usar recursos para programs de trabajo y servicios que mejoren nuestras vidas”

“Los condades necesitan justificar sus aplicaciones para mas fondos estatales demonstrando que hay estrategies en orden para apoyar a la gente que ha sido liberada de las carceles y prisiones para reducir las tazas de reincidencia y la poblacion que esta detras de las rejas” dice Cristina Tsao de la organizacion Resistencia Critica- Los Angeles. ” Parece que el condado de Los Angeles no esta implementando estrategias de reduccion de la pobalcion de las carceles deliberadamente para poder continuar expandiendo su sistema gigante de carceles y prisiones”

Activistas en otros condados del Sur de California estaran participando en acciones solidarias en San Bernardino, San Diego, y Riverside. En todos estos lugares hay expansion carcelaria de algun tipo.

“Las personas de color, los immigrantes y la gente pobre han sido el blanco de 30 años de leyes injustas. Comunidades enteras han sido devastadas, privadas de sus derechos y empobrecidas mientras que miles de millones de dolares estan siendo gastados en la construccion de mas carceles prisiones y centros de detencion” dice Antonio Elizondo de la organizacion Dream Team Los Angeles. ” Pero gente de todo el estado esta cansada de estas injusticias y se estan uniendo para continuar luchando en contra de estos ataques. Ahora, es tiempo de que los politicas de el estado y el condado se unan a nuestros esfuerzos o que dejen de estorbarnos”

Portavoces estaran disponibles todo el dia.

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Communities Rally Across Southern California to Oppose Wasteful Prison and Jail Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- August 15, 2014#NoMoreJails Aug 16

LOS ANGELES:

Press Contact: Diana Zuniga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget – 213.864.8931 and​ ​Diana@curbprisonspending.org
What: Caravan Rally/Press Conference
When: 9-10:30am: Rally Lynwood Jail (11705 S. Alameda, Lynwood, CA 90262
11am-2pm: Car caravan to former Mira Loma Detention Center
2-4pm: Art Action and Rally at Mira Loma Detention Center with Freedom Harvest (4501 60th St. W. Lancaster, CA 93536)

SAN BERNARDINO:
Press Contact: Sarai Herrera, Defund Detention – 760-927-6167 and saraiah@uci.edu
What: Take Back Adelanto!
When: August 16th, 2014 – 5:30 pm
Where: Adelanto City Hall, 11600 Air Expy, Adelanto, CA 92301

RIVERSIDE:
Press Contact: Vonya Quarles, All of Us or None – 951-898-0862 and riversideallofusornone@gmail.com
What: Day of Action Against Mass Incarceration
When: August 16th, 2014 – 9:00am
Where: Robert Presley Detention Center, 4000 Orange St, Riverside, CA 92501

SAN DIEGO:
Press Contact: Max Bojorquez, Trail for Humanity- 619-750-3173 or max.labodega@gmail.com
What: Rally and March
When: August 16th, 2014 7:00am
Where: Beginning at 7:00am in Chicano Park, traveling to the border between 3:00-4:00pm and ending in Larsen Field (455 Sycamore Rd. San Ysidro, 92173)

Social Media: #StopExpansion, #KeepFamiliesTogether, and #NoMoreJails

Los Angeles — On August 16th, Southern Californians will mobilize against expansion of prisons, jails and detention centers in San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles.

“Angelinos do not need more jails,” says Dayvon Williams, Youth Organizer for the Youth Justice Coalition. “They hurt our communities. Study after study commissioned by California counties show that locking people up does not create safer communities. Multiple reports recommend alternative ways of reducing the number of people locked up. It makes more sense to use resources for life-affirming programs, job programs and services that will improve our lives.”

Los Angeles residents will be opposing the proposed 1,604-bed women’s jail at the Mira Loma detention center in Lancaster. Beginning with a rally at the Lynwood Jail in LA and then a 70-mile caravan to Mira Loma to pressure the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to stop funding jail construction projects. An additional rally and art demonstration will be held later in the afternoon at the Mira Loma facility.

“In Adelanto we are mobilizing specifically against the expansion at the GEO detention center and the lack of political imagination and will that has lead Adelanto to have over 9,000 people incarcerated within a 10-mile radius,” says Vickie Mena of CIVIC. “It is a shame that we continue to build facilities to incarcerate people in Adelanto, while the cities first high school fought to open after two years of sitting vacant. Where are our state and local priorities?”

San Bernardino will be mobilizing to oppose additional construction at the Adelanto Detention Facility and the proposal from their county to contract with LA County to house prisoners at the recently expanded Adelanto County Jail.

“Counties need to justify their application for state funds by showing that there are strategies in place to support people released from prisons and jails to reduce recidivism rates and the population behind bars, but that isn’t happening,” says Maribel Nuñez of California Partnership. “It looks like Riverside County is deliberately not implementing population reduction strategies so they can continue expanding their already sprawling jails.”

Riverside will be mobilizing at Robert Presley Detention Center against the jail expansion plans where there county is looking build 10,000 new jail beds by 2020 and recently approved a bond measure to make this possible.

Activists in San Diego are also fighting against prison expansion. On August 16th, San Diego No More Prisons will join with women from “A Trail for Humanity” in march from Chicano Park to Friendship Park in protest of the proposed plans to build another wing to Donovan state prison, a women’s jail, and the an end to the criminalization and deportation of people of color.

English and Spanish speaking spokespeople will be available throughout the day.

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