Budget committee about-face indebts future budgets for jail construction as county jails defy state law

Press Contact:
Lizzie Buchen, Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Tonight, elected officials in the Budget Conference Committee overrode the actions of the Budget Subcommittees and intense community opposition by approving $270 million for jail construction in the form of lease revenue bonds.

During Budget Subcommittee hearings over the past few weeks, both the Senate and the Assembly rejected $250 million in general funds for county jail construction, a decision that came after communities impacted by incarceration from across California advocated to reject the funding and re-direct it towards community-based programs and services and alternatives to incarceration.

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Check out Solitary Man in New York!

Dear Supporter,

My name is Charlie Hinton and I have been a part of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Network for a number of years. I wanted to invite you to my showing of Solitary Man a piece based on my interactions with prisoners in Pelican Bay SHU/solitary confinement, where the largest prisoner hunger strike in history began in July, 2013.

The story is set in November, 2014, where I visit Otis Washington, a 64 year old lifer and New York City native who has been locked up since 1975, and at Pelican Bay since it opened in 1989.

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Let's turn up the heat against jail expansion in Alameda!

Hi Lizzie,

It is all hands on deck in Alameda County! Despite rapidly growing community opposition, the sheriff’s department is barreling forward to seek county supervisor approval for the proposed mental health expansion at Santa Rita Jail without the community’s consent.

There are two opportunities for you to mobilize with us to show the Board of Supervisors that we are united, that we don’t back down, and that we know what our community truly needs:

  1. Mobilize with the Alameda County Jail Fight Coalition to the Public Protections Committee meeting TODAY at 9:30am, to respond to the Sheriff Department’s problematic “Santa Rita Jail Improvement Program” — a consolidated proposal of three construction projects that include the $61.6 million (SB 863) expansion to Santa Rita Jail, security upgrades, and ADA compliance renovations our allies at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children won through a recent settlement. RSVP here!
  2. Mobilize with us for Tuesday’s full Board of Supervisors’ meeting. We are expecting the Sheriff to seek approval for the expansion’s proposed construction builder and we are mobilizing to tell our Board of Supervisors that we need county money spent on care, not cages! RSVP here.

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