California Coalition Stops Prison Construction Plan in Its Tracks

For Immediate Release—April 26, 2012

California Coalition Stops Prison Construction Plan in Its Tracks

Press Contact:

Isaac Ontiveros

Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Ph. 510 517 6612

California—Members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) acted swiftly this week to defeat Assembly Bill 2587, known as the Knight bill which would have rammed forward the quarter-billion dollar construction of a medium and maximum security prison in the city of Adelanto.

“This is just one example of how this state got into this crisis,” said Emily Harris, statewide coordinator for CURB. “Despite the overwhelming opinion of California residents being against prison construction, massive prison construction projects are still being whipped up and rushed through the approval process.  And as we’ve seen for the past 30 years, it’s Californians who bear the brunt of the devastating social and economic cost of these terrible schemes.”

CURB, a statewide alliance of over 40 California organizations working to end the expansion of prisons and jails and to reduce the number of prisoners in the state, has been meeting with legislators in Sacramento for the past two days to discuss the CDCR’s recently released, The Future of California Corrections plan and to push for the more comprehensive steps outlined in the coalition’s Budget for Humanity.  The Budget for Humanity (available here: http://curbprisonspending.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Budget-for-Humanity-2-Final.pdf ) calls for an immediate end to all prison and jail expansion, reductions to prison and jail populations, progressive revenue measures, and strong reinvestment in life-affirming programs like education, healthcare, housing, job training and transportation.

“Another prison is the last thing our town needs,” said Daletha Hayden, Adelanto resident working with California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, a CURB member organization.  “Building another prison in Adelanto would have made this place the High Dessert Prison Capitol and would have sent a message to the Governor and the CDCR that the Legislature want to continued down the failed construction path.”

The bill went through the Assembly Public Safety Committee unopposed just last week, but was stopped today in the Assembly Local Gov. Committee.  Authored by Assemblyperson Steve Knight, the defeated prison would have cost an estimate $250,000,000, would have held 3000 prisoners, and would have joined at least 3 other correctional facilities in the small San Bernardino County city of 30,000.   The CDCR’s own Future of California Corrections plan shies away from construction of stand-alone facilities.

 

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