For Immediate Release: July 19, 2016
Lizzie Buchen, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Coalition that stopped new SF jail wins human rights award as jail system blasted by civil grand jury
The No New SF Jail Coalition has been selected to receive the prestigious Hero Award by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and its Equity Advisory Committee. The coalition celebrated a monumental victory last December, when, after years of community organizing and advocacy, they persuaded the Board of Supervisors to reject plans for a new jail in San Francisco, pointing to the high pre-trial population, extreme levels of homelessness and mental illness among the incarcerated, and egregious racial disparities: While African Americans make up only 4 percent of the City, they constitute nearly half of the people imprisoned in its jails.
“This award is a testament to the years of powerful organizing, public education, and advocacy by dedicated community leaders fighting for alternatives to imprisonment and policing,” says Lisa Marie Alatorre, Human Rights Organizer for the SF Coalition on Homelessness, “including formerly incarcerated people, labor organizers, and advocates for housing, education, LGBT rights, and mental health treatment. Moving forward, we are committed to decarcerating and closing 850 Bryant and building humane and effective community-based solutions.”