|Individuals: Sign Here!|
We write on behalf of thousands of Los Angeles women and transgender people, mostly impoverished, mostly people of color, and many of whom are immigrants, to ask for your help in opposing a new women’s jail.
You likely heard about the series of scandals, including the widespread abuse of prisoners, that have rocked the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Department. Now Sheriff Baca says he is the best one to help women who are locked up in LA’s jail system and wants to build a new $200 million jail for women.
His proposal is the latest version of what has come to be known as ‘gender-responsive corrections.’ He expects that we, as women, trans-people and feminists, will support his efforts to build a better, gender-appropriate jail.
While we do support the idea that anyone locked in jail or prison should have access to counseling, education and other services; and we believe that taking gender (and other differences) into account when designing such programs is important, we adamantly reject the idea that women in L.A. need a new jail.
Women need welfare and other resources, vocational training, education, well-paying jobs, drug and alcohol treatment programs, family reunification programs, services for our children and elderly dependents and support for our work as caregivers. Women should not have to be arrested and imprisoned to have access to such services. The County should be allocating the money proposed to build and staff this new jail on substantial services for women and trans-people in Los Angeles’s neediest neighborhoods.
Sheriff Baca needs to focus on alternatives to incarceration that will substantially reduce the numbers of people in jail. Over 45% of the women in LA’s jails haven’t yet been convicted and are currently held in jail because they can’t afford bail. In 2009, only 30 percent of the women in the Los Angeles County jail system were unemployed at the time of their arrest. How many children or elderly parents are impoverished because they depended on those paychecks?
Please join us in adding your name or your organization to our letter demanding that the Los Angles Board of Supervisors NOT build a new women’s jail and that they commit state and local funds to services for women in our poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.
Help us reach our goal of 500 individual signatures and 50 organizations by the end of the week – please pass this on to friends, allies, colleagues, social media, organizational listserves and websites!
To sign on Contact:
Attn: Diana Zuñiga Diana@curbprisonspending.org
PO Box 73688, Los Angeles CA 90003
To virtually sign on: