For Immediate Release –Fri. May 2nd 2014
San Diego No More Prisons Coalition
Contact: Dr. Dennis Childs (UCSD)
Literature Department, Faculty Advisor – Students Against Mass Incarceration
San Diego—On Friday, May 2 at San Diego City College a broad coalition of organizations representing housing, health care, faith, youth, women’s issues, criminal justice, and more will hold a community forum and mock solitary confinement cell exhibition to call on California decision-makers to take immediate action to reduce prison overcrowding by expanding parole and sentencing reform measures, investing resources in social programs and services, and canceling all prison/jail expansion plans.
Organizations including All of Us or None, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), A New Path, Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI UCSD), Californians to Abolish Solitary Confinement (CFASC), Black and Pink, and Colectivo Zapatista are holding this forum and panel presentation to demand that Governor Brown and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) stop all plans to build a 792-bed prison for prisoners convicted of non-violent charges, and those with disabilities and mental health needs next to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa.
“The social impact of over-incarceration is extraordinarily destructive. Building more prison cells does nothing to solve our prison overcrowding crisis. We must reform our draconian drug sentencing laws and put funding and resources back into our communities. A majority of people behind bars are non-violent drug offenders who need transitional services, community-based treatment, housing, jobs and education so that they can successfully reintegrate back into society, where they belong.” Gretchen Burns Bergman, Co-Founder & Executive Director, A New PATH, (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing), and Lead Organizer, Moms United to End the War on Drugs.
The new expansion unit for people with disabilities next to Donovan Correctional Facility would cost $168.7 million, with an annual operating budget of $5.5 million.
San Diego is also building a women’s jail and the California Department of Corrections recently announced a proposal to open up a Family Foundation Program in the area.
Mock Solitary Confinement Cage and Community Forum Details
When: Art Installation of Solitary Cage (CFASC) — Friday, May 2, 2014 from 4 PM
When: Panel and Community Forum – Friday, May 2, 2014 from 6 PM
Where: San Diego City College, MS Building (1529 C St., San Diego)
The mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) cage will be displayed to call attention to the horrific practice of solitary confinement in California prisons such as Pelican Bay and Corcoran, and the community forum will urge the Governor and the legislature to implement cost effective population reduction strategies and sensible alternatives to incarceration, rather than spending millions on additional, unnecessary beds. CURB along with advocates and community activists are also planning to take further future actions against prison plans.