San Francisco is attempting to move forward with its proposal to divert hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into erecting a new maximum security jail. Today, an advisory committee took a significant step by recommending the use of funds for the project.
Now, it’s in the Board of Supervisors’ hands. Thanks to your efforts, several of the Supervisors have already taken a strong stand against the jail. Others are now expressing serious concerns, including Board President London Breed.
We need to keep the pressure on. Tomorrow at the Board of Supervisors hearing, Mayor Ed Lee is expected to introduce legislation to commit the City to building the new jail. The Mayor claims “we are not rebuilding a city jail; this is an innovative approach to criminal justice with a focus on rehabilitation and re-entry.”
But we know better. We know that “rehabilitation” is used to justify more cages, and re-entry can only be effective when it’s based in the community. We know our jails target people of color, people who are poor, and people devastated by the cuts to community-based care. We know jails aren’t “innovative” — they’re the same non-solution to social problems our City has been relying on for decades.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Come to the Board of Supervisors hearing tomorrow, November 17, at 2 pm, in the Legislative Chambers of City Hall. Show the Supervisors our strength and unity, and demand investments in community-strengthening programs and services, not new cages.
2) Call and email the Board of Supervisors to tell them to prioritize true community safety and well-being by rejecting the proposed new jail.
I hope to see you tomorrow!
P.S. SF’s proposed jail is part of a statewide effort to funnel resources out of communities and into cages. Across the Bay, Alameda County is also trying to railroad through a new jail proposal, and their Board of Supervisors meets tomorrow, too. After the hearing in San Francisco, head over to Oakland to show your solidarity!