New Mental Health Jail with No Provider?

Dear Supporter,

After years of an ongoing healthcare scandal over the dismal healthcare conditions in Santa Rita jail, Alameda County is back to the drawing board in selecting a healthcare provider for its jail system. Yet despite the turmoil, they are barrelling forward with expanding the jail under the banner of improved health care.

For those of us who don’t want a bigger jail, this is an important moment to intervene.
As Alameda County considers re-opening the process to find a medical provider, we can turn the tide on the jail plan. We need to make sure the media is covering the real story here. Submit a letter to the editor to ask: How can Sheriff Ahern justify building a “mental health” jail without even having a competent health care provider?

The two main healthcare providers vying for a contract at the new unit, Corizon and CFMG, are both for-profit healthcare companies that are notorious for inadequate care and deaths under their watch. Corizon Correctional Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit provider of correctional healthcare, recently paid the largest civil-right wrongful death settlement in California history of $8.3 million for the death of an individual incarcerated at Santa Rita. Corizon’s tenure at Santa Rita also resulted in the preventable deaths of two others, while CFMG’s tenure at Santa Cruz County resulted in six deaths, prompting a year-long investigation by the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury.

These scandals clearly demonstrate the travesty of health care in jails and prisons. Yet, in June, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with their multi-million dollar plan to expand Santa Rita Jail despite substantial opposition in the community, justifying the move with promises of improved mental health and medical care.

We know jails are, by nature, inappropriate and dangerous settings for mental health and medical treatment. The only way to meaningfully improve mental health care access and quality is to invest in community-based mental health services, not a bigger jail.

Send a letter to the editor now to set the story straight.

Join us in flooding the newsrooms with concerns from the community about Alameda moving forward with their wasteful and inhumane jail plan.

In solidarity,

Kaedan Peters

Critical Resistance Oakland

Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

About the Author

Subscribe

Recent Articles

CURB Overview of the 2021-22 Proposed Corrections Budget

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a statewide coalition of organizations working to reduce the number of people imprisoned in California and the number of prisons and jails in the state. We advocate for an investment in justice that centers care, not punishment. Governor Newsom’s May Revision of the 2021-22 budget for Corrections includes $13.3

Read More »

LA TIMES JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT: PRISONS ARE RACIST

6/22/21 Editors and Writers of The Los Angeles Times, We’re writing in hopes of evolving The Los Angeles Times’ coverage on prison closure. An article released two days after Juneteenth sought to center the narrative that closing prisons equals economic devastation. This dialogue reminds us of the arguments of the Antebellum South. Like prisons, slavery

Read More »

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION IS A “MONEY PIT”

Despite prison closures and historically low prison populations, California is failing to end its addiction to prison spending, advocates say  SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA––In response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revise Budget for 2021-22 released today, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) provided the following statement: CURB applauds the major investments in health and human services the Newsom

Read More »