CURB is a statewide alliance of over 50 organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California.
On January 9, Governor Jerry Brown’s released the 2014-15 budget proposal that reflected an increase in expected revenues by $ 6.3 billion and with a projected surplus of $5.6 billion by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year. The positive revenue outlook for the state did not translate to any real investments to California’s tattered safety net. The Governor and this budget instead ignored the poverty crisis that Californians are facing, with more than 8.7 million people living in poverty in this state, 2 million of which are children.
The Governor instead chose to again prioritize prison spending by growing the corrections budget from $9.2 to $9.8 billion, pushing for a 2 year extension of the Court Order on prison overcrowding and spending millions of new dollars to expand the prison and jail system.
At a time when families have still not recovered, greater investments can and must be made to respond to the need of Californians that continue to struggle. We look to the Governor to join us in reducing prison spending and building a road out of poverty.
Reduce Prison Spending, Restore Health & Human Services and Reduce Poverty
Cancel All Prison and Jail Expansion
Reduce the Prison and Jail Population
San Diego doesn’t need new prison cells. California tried to build its way out of its overcrowding crisis for 30 years. Building hasn’t solved overcrowding; it just spread terrible conditions over more lives.
There are literally dozens of ways to reduce the prison population – including expanding good time credits, releasing terminally ill and permanently medically incapacitated prisoners, implementing an older prisoner parole program, expanding the Alternative Custody Program and reforming drug sentencing laws.
Prisons are historically not good for the economic growth of communities and will not be good for San Diego. San Diego needs adequate paying jobs for our communities, not another prison.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 2nd, 2014
Location: Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St., San Diego, CA 92114
For more information contact me at email@example.com.
Please join us in this fight! We need you today.
Rev. Dennis Malone
A New PATH, All of Us or None – San Diego and member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Last July, 30,000 prisoners embarked on a hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions, particularly in California’s isolation cells. Dozens of prisoners remained on hunger strike for almost 60 days, suspending it only when key legislators promised to investigate the torturous conditions and work to change them.
On February 11, in Sacramento, the Public Safety Committees will hold their second hearing on conditions in these isolation units.
The most important witnesses are the prisoners themselves, but CDCR has refused to let them attend and testify. Prisoners have testified at legislative hearings before. Contact CDCR officials and urge them to allow the voices of the prisoners to be heard.
Join us in Sacramento. Show the legislature that Californians do not support the use of solitary confinement!
Where: Sacramento, CA Capitol Building
When: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
9:30am-12pm – Hearing (State Capitol Building)
Rally: Immediately following the hearing
2-4pm: Lobby visits – No experience needed, please RSVP to lobby
CARPOOL SOUTHERN/CENTRAL CA: More info contact Virginia Classick (818-225-0410)
“We will be with the prisoners here in the courts, in the legislature, or out in the community. We will use every venue available to us, until the torture is ended.” – Marie Levin, sister of Hunger Striker Sitawa Jaama.
Please forward this message widely!
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
This Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee will have the first of many hearings to discuss the 2014-15 corrections budget.
It is very important that you weigh in to focus the budget on people and restoring the terrible cuts to social services, rather than sinking more money into prison and jail expansion.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the Governor’s prison budget:
Good: Parole and Sentencing Reforms
Bad: More Expensive Foot Dragging on the Court Order
Ugly: Lots of costly prison and jail expansion plans
The full Budget and Fiscal Review Committee hearing of the Corrections Budget is this Thursday at 9:30 am in room 4203 Come if you can.
Please join me now, in letting the budget committee know that we must start making thoughtful restorations to education and anti-poverty programs, and stop throwing our tax dollars down the rathole of incarceration.
Legislative Director for the Friends Committee on Legislation of California
& member of CURB
San Francisco Board of Supervisors Hearing on Jail Replacement Project
Thursday, January 23rd, 1-3:30pm
City Hall Chambers
San Francisco: Tomorrow, San Francisco Supervisors Campos, Avalos, Breed, Mar & Kim will host a hearing in the Neighborhood Services & Safety Committee to examine whether the controversial jail construction plans are the most cost effective way to meet the short and long-term needs of the county’s jail population. During the hearing Severin Campbell will present the long anticipated findings from the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Report regarding the projected jail capacity needs for the county. Key departments and agencies will respond to the report including the Sheriff’s Department, Capital Planning, the Controller’s Office, SFPD, SF Pretrial Diversion Project, the District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Public Health, the Public Defender and the Chief of Probation.
Community members from Californians United for a Responsible Budget, the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, the ACLU of Northern California, Young Artists at Work, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Taxpayers for Public Safety, Drug Policy Alliance, Critical Resistance, Communities United Against Violence, Sin Barras, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility, SF Jail Fight and many more will be there to speak out against the county’s plan to build a new jail, and will outline a series of needed alternatives to incarceration.
On January 16th, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) denied San Francisco’s application for $80 million in SB1022 jail construction funds to help subsidize the cost of the replacement jail. “San Francisco’s jail construction plan is a mistake to begin with and the BSCC appears to understand that” said Raphael Sperry, a San Francisco-based architect and president of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility. Sperry continues “San Francisco is a leader at using community-based alternatives to incarceration, and we need further that progress and cancel this jail plan completely.”
Anti-jail protesters outside the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
An unusually rowdy meeting of a state corrections board Thursday drew malcontent county sheriffs and anti-jail protesters to an L.A. County jail in Lynwood.
The Board of State and Community Corrections met at Century Regional Detention Facility in part to dish out $500 million in state grants for county jail construction awarded under Senate Bill 1022.
County sheriffs travelled from as far as Butte, Stanislaus, and Monterey counties to express their frustration at being passed over for the grants and to make a final appeal to the board. It didn’t work; out of 35 counties who applied, 15 were awarded grants. An appeal process may follow today’s meeting.
Under prison realignment, which went into effect in 2011, counties across the state have become responsible for punishing lower level offenders, such as those convicted of drug and property felonies. And county jails are bursting with the influx of inmates.
Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman told the board he was disappointed that with all the need in the state, the amount of resources is so limited.
“So what do we do, do we sit here and complain?, do I go to my fellow sheriffs and say ‘you don’t deserve that money because I do’?” Allmas said. “No, I’m not going to.”
Instead, he said, the legislature needs to provide adequate resources to all counties.
Los Angeles was among the losers — though the county does have $100 million in state grants for jail building under another bill, AB900. L.A. Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald told the board that’s not enough for the largest county in the state. Since realignment took effect, L.A.’s jails have taken in 6,000 offenders who would have been previously sent to state prison. That’s more than any other county and more than the next top three counties combined, McDonald said.
“I’m asking for your leadership and support in helping a system like L.A. County figure out how to do this,” McDonald told the board.
L.A. is in the process of planning a replacement for the antiquated Men’s Central Jail and is considering a much larger reshuffling of the jail system — the largest in the country.
Outside, members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) said there’s no reason L.A.’s large jail system should become larger still.
“We think the money could better be used in the community and don’t think building jails is the answer to our social problems,” said protest organizer Diana Zuniga. She said money put towards jails could better be used for community programming and schools.
Inside, during the public comment period, CURB members exchanged words with board members, like Mimi Silbert, president of Delancey Street Foundation, an organization that helps former jail and prison inmates learn job skills and find employment and housing.
“Protesting doesn’t change anything,” Silbert said. “You need to go to the legislature and tell them what works.”
After the vote, when asked about the polarized debate between sheriffs and anti-jail protesters, board member Dean Growdon, sheriff of Lassen County, said there was more middle ground than some might imagine.
Lassen County, a small, rural county in Northern California, and home to two prisons, is fairly conservative when it comes to law and order, he said. Post-realignment, he said, things have started to shift.
“We’re doing things I never thought we would do. Like electronic monitoring and residential drug treatment,” Growdon said.
“We’re taking positive steps and going in the right direction, but you can’t turn the Titanic overnight either,” he added.
Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for the coming year contains more funding for schools. It also proposes an additional $500 million for jail construction. The legislature will consider his proposals in the coming months.
Residents in several counties are disappointed by the BSCC’s recommendations, “Santa Cruz County has been forward thinking during California’s public safety realignment by prioritizing community-based programming and supportive re-entry services. Re-opening and expanding an unused portion of Rountree Detention Center is a significant step backwards, we are incredibly disappointed that the BSCC approved this recommendation” noted Tash Nguyen of Sin Barras, who has been leading the campaign to fight the Santa Cruz jail expansion. Nyugen continued “Our community does not want the jail money and demand our Board of Supervisors to reject the grant because we know that counties are better equipped to employ alternatives to incarceration.”
Where: The Clock Tower, Santa Cruz
Who: Californians United for a Responsible Budget & Sin Barras
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—January 15, 2013
“Poor people and people of color have been disportionatelyimpacted by 30 years criminal justice policies. Whole communities have been devasted and disenfanchised as our social safety net where shredded and our schools were defunded, while billions were being invested in prison and jail construction,” says Debbie Reyes of the California Prison Moratorium Project. “But residents in counties across the state are sick of it and they are fighting back. Poll after poll shows Californians want a change. Now is the time for county and state politicians to get with the programs, or get out of the way.”
Thursday BSCC meeting will confirm or deny funding recommendations for the ESC for Tuolumne, Napa County, King, Shasta, Lake, Tehama, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Solano, Tulare, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Fresno, Orange, & Sacramento counties. Several counties where jail expansion has been very controversial were not recommended for funding including San Francisco, Contra Costa, Riverside and Los Angeles. CURB member organizations will hold a lively rally, participate in public comment and meet with decision makers. Spokespeople will be available throughout the day.