Press Statement: CURB responds to Governor's support for more incarceration in new budget

OAKLAND – CURB co-coordinator Lizzie Buchen issued this statement today following Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of the 2016-2017 budget:

“The budget signed today by Governor Jerry Brown reflects Sacramento’s relentless reliance on incarceration. Although the budget includes some repairs to the social safety net, it nonetheless aggressively builds up California’s system of imprisonment, adding another $270 million to the state’s large-scale jail construction program, extending contracts for private prisons, increasing the number of prison guards, and funding construction on a dilapidated prison in Norco that has been slated for closure since 2012.

“This reinforcement of the state’s vast system of imprisonment comes as legislators, the governor, and the general public have recognized that incarceration is failing people in low-income communities of color. Not only did the voters overwhelmingly choose prevention and treatment over punishment for low-level offenses through Prop 47, but the Governor is pushing his own ballot initiative to reduce sentences for people in prison. In the legislature, both the Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees voted to reject more jail construction. However, after the backroom deal-brokering in the last-minute budget negotiations, the funding for jail construction returned to the budget, a sign that law enforcement continues to gain power in Sacramento and remains tenacious in prying money from the legislature.

Read more