We’ve all heard about the broad, bipartisan support across the nation for reducing incarceration. So why is California spending billions of dollars on new jails?
That’s one of the questions raised by CURB’s new Decarceration Report Card, which found that counties across the state are building new jails.
Among the findings of the report:
1. Twenty-three counties are already building new jails. Five are building two or more jails. And thirty-two counties are applying for the current round of jail construction funding.
2. These jail projects are being promoted as ways to help incarcerated people and their families: Improving mental health treatment, adding classroom space, and providing so-called “gender-responsive care”. But we know that no matter how they’re advertised, jails harm people, tear apart families, and weaken communities.
3. When counties prioritize jails as a way to address mental health issues and other community needs, it’s the community-based programs — which are more effective, more humane, and come at a fraction of the price — that are cut.
Join us in fighting jail expansion across California. We know that with all the talk of reform, sustainable reductions in incarceration will only happen when we start reducing the number of cages in our state.
So the most important thing we need to do today is win the media cycle.
We need to start talking about closing jails — not expanding them — and committing to investments in services, jobs, and supportive housing. We need to bring people home.
Help us send 100 letters to media outlets up and down the state to make sure our side of the story is told.
Critical Resistance Oakland
P.S. Is your county trying to build a new jail? Check out CURB’s tool-kit, How to Stop a Jail in Your Town!