Please find our full packet here: How to Stop a Jail in Your Town
Here in California many sheriffs are planning to expand county jail systems, and in most of those counties residents are questioning whether a bigger jail and more county spending going to the sheriff’s budget is necessary. Almost 2/3 of the people in California jails last year were being held pre-trial, meaning that they hadn’t been convicted yet.
CURB believes that expanding the number of jail or prison cells is terrible public policy. We incarcerate too many people for too long, already. Tax dollars that were used a generation ago to pay for schools and public housing have been diverted to pay for more law enforcement and incarceration.
If you’re wondering whether your county really needs more jail cells – or if you’re already determined that it doesn’t, we have put together some resources to help you and your neighbors sort through what some of the key issues are, what the policy alternatives to jail expansion are and what you can do to move your county away from a disastrous jail expansion project.
There are a lot of reports and fact sheets about jails. We’ve selected 10 of the best. They’re easy to read and will give you a solid overview of what can be done in your county, and how you can take steps to put your county on the right path.
We’ve listed some other resources for those of you who want to dig a little deeper into public policy questions about jails.
Short and simple guides and fact-sheets from Community Alternatives to Jail Expansion. The best place to start.
- CAJE: A How-to-Guide to Organizing for Alternatives to Jail Expansion in Your Community (4 pages)
- CAJE: Rising Detention and Growth of Local Jails (2 pages)
- CAJE: Why Not in My County? Cost-Effective Solutions to Jail Overcrowding (3 pages)
A chapter from CPMP’s How to Stop a Prison in Your Town on organizing basics.
- CPMP: Organizing the Opposition (16 pages)
- The rest of their manual is available for free download in English or Spanish (coming soon).
- CURB: 10 Razones Para Luchar En Contra De La Nueva Carcel En San Mateo (1 page)
- CURB: 10 Alternativas A La Construccion De La Nueva Carcel En El Condado De San Mateo (1 page)
- CURB: 10 Alternative to a New SMC Jail (1 page)
- CURB: 10 Reasons to Fight the SMC jail (1 page)
- CURB: San Francisco Jail Info Sheet (1 page)
- CURB: Sample Press Release (2 pages)
- CURB: Jail Tax Flyer (1 page)
- CURB: How to De-Bunk Your Sheriff’s Justification for Jail Expansion
- CURB: Jail Construction Funding Fact Sheet
- Critical Resistance: No New Jails Fresno Fact Sheet
Summary of a recent report on how and why to abolish bail, the simplest way to reduce the ‘need’ for more jail cells.
- Justice Policy Institute: Bail Fail: Why the U.S. should end the practice of using money for bail. Executive summary. (8 pages)
Great overview of what’s wrong with jail expansion & what the alternatives are.
- Amanda Petteruti & Nastassia Walsh: Jailing Communities: The Impact of Jail Expansion and Effective Public Safety Strategies (38 pages)
The human cost of holding people in jail because they can’t raise bail money.
- Albert Samaha: Barred from Freedom: How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives (11 pages)
James Austin: Assessing and Managing Your Jail Population: a Toolkit for Practitioners – http://www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/jailassessmentoolkit10_31_12.pdf
Robert C. Boruchowitz/NACDL: Minor Crimes, Massive Waste: The Terrible Toll of America’s Broken Misdemeanor Courts – http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/defenseupdates/misdemeanor/$FILE/Report.pdf
BJS: A Second Look at Alleviating Jail Crowding: A Systems Perspective – http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/182507.pdf
CPMP: How to Stop a Prison in Your Town (http://www.calipmp.org/documents (in English or Spanish)
Craig Gilmore/Real Cost of Prisons Project: “Prison Towns: Paying the Price”
Dana Kaplan/CAJE: Impacts of Jail Expansion in New York State: A Hidden Burden – http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/CCR_NYS_Jail_Report.pdf
Magnus Lofstrom and Katherine Kramer/PPIC: Capacity Challenges in California’s Jails – http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_quick.asp?i=1034
Sarah Lyons and Nastassia Walsh/Justice Policy Institute: Money Well Spent: How positive social investments will reduce incarceration rates, improve public safety, and promote the well-being of communities – http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/10-09_REP_MoneyWellSpent_PS-DC-AC-JJ.pdf
Los Angeles Conservancy: Using CEQA to Protect Your Community – http://www.laconservancy.org/preservation/CEQA_english.pdf
Vera Institute: Making the Transition: Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County: fact sheet – http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/making-the-transition-fact-sheet.pdf
Ana Yanez-Corera and Molly Trotman/TCJC: Costly Confinement & Sensible Solutions: Jail Overcrowding in Texas – http://www.criminaljusticecoalition.org/files/userfiles/TCJC_Jail_Overcrowding_Report.pdf