Massive Jail Construction Awards Move Forward

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—January 16, 2013

LA Contact: Diana Zuniga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget – 213.864.8931
Santa Cruz Contact: ​Tash Nguyen, Sin Barras – 408.499.7912
SF Contact: Emily Harris, Californians United for a Responsible Budget​ – 510-435-1176
Fresno Contact: Debbie Reyes, California Prison Moratorium Project – 559-367-6020
Los Angeles—Today, the murky Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) confirmed which counties will be awarded funding to build new or expand existing jail facilities.  The Board rubber stamped the funding recommendations of the ESC for Tuolumne, Napa County, 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. Organizations and residents from across Southern California counties held a rally to pressure the Board to not dole out more jail funds to their communities. A solidarity rally will be held later this afternoon in Santa Cruz, one of the counties to receive funding.

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.”

On the other hand, several residents in several counties won big victories against jail construction when the BSCC did not recommend their counties for funding, these include San Francisco, Riverside, Contra Costa and Los Angeles. “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 is using community-based alternatives to incarceration, and state support should further that progress. It would be great to see BSCC’s next set of funding decisions be about expanding community-based anti-violence and recidivism reduction programs and helping to fund the spaces needed to deliver those programs, instead of more jails.”  Governor Brown’s 2014-15 Budget, released last Friday includes a controversial proposal to push forward $500 million additional jail construction dollars.
​SANTA CRUZ Rally & Press Conference Info:
Press Contact: Tash Nguyen, Sin Barras – 408.499.7912
When: January 16, 2014,​4:30pm​

Where: The Clock Tower, Santa Cruz​

Who:  Californians United for a Responsible Budget & Sin Barras

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