Advocacy efforts & Legislation
Organizations & Campaigns
A Budget to Save Lives
Dynamic, consistent and relentless advocacy on the part of CURB has made possible the fulfillment of our founders’ mission: for the first time in its history, California has pledged to close two state-owned prisons over the course of the next three years. CURB has produced a Prison Closure Memo and detailed budget analysis to help guide this process and will release a detailed Prison Closure Report in the Fall, a roadmap for system actors providing recommendations for which facilities to close; an analysis of cost-savings to be captured and reinvested in adjacent communities; and data-driven information about the roles both racism and extreme sentencing continue to play in both prison expansion and overcrowding. As community advocates representing the people most impacted by incarceration, CURB will demand a seat at the table during both the survey and implementation processes of Prison Closure.
Our analysis for Prison Closure is centered in budget advocacy and uses a public health lens to focus our demands. Alongside coalitions across movements for social justice, CURB co-created A Budget to Save Lives (B2SL). B2SL is a “decarceration budget,” detailing an invest/divest vision for public safety that defunds police, prisons and detention centers. The B2SL leadership will organize our diverse coalitions through 2020, advancing our shared goals in the legislature and Newsom’s administration. The B2SL coalitions include: Dignity Not Detention, Human Impact Partners and Justice LA, together representing more than 100 different organizations. Co-authors of B2SL include members of La Defensx, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Dignity and Power Now, Youth Justice Coalition, and Freedom For Immigrants.
Learn how to get involved in our advocacy efforts
The JusticeLA Coalition is made up of a diverse group of organizations and community members working to stop jail expansion in L.A. County. Los Angeles county has the largest jail system in the world. Yet, county officials are planning to expand the system and squander $3.5 billion in construction costs alone. Because imprisonment is fundamentally violent, JusticeLA is working to reduce the number of people locked up in Los Angeles.
Visit the JusticeLA website for more information.
L.A. County is the epicenter for criminal legal reform. In 2020, CURB created the independent public education campaign that helped move over 2.1 million voters to pass Measure J, which permanently changed the County Charter to require a minimum of 10 percent of the County’s revenue go toward alternatives to incarceration and investments in Black and marginalized communities. Brian Kaneda––CURB’s Deputy Director and LA Coordinator––is currently on the Coordinating Committee of the Re-imagine LA Coalition; leads the coalition’s internal 2020-21 Health Policy Workgroup; and was elected to serve as Community Co-Chair of LA County’s Health, Mental Health & Diversion Subcommittee in early 2021.
Visit the ReimagineLA website to learn more about the campaign that successfully passed Measure J, and follow @reimaginela on social media to follow what’s happening now, and learn how you can get involved.
LWOP is a death-in-prison sentence that almost always excludes people for compassionate release. This year, CURB authored an Elder Parole memo intended as a prelude to legislation that would end LWOP and provide a path to release for all incarcerated people serving LWOP sentences. As co-coordinators of the #DropLWOP campaign led by California Coalition for Women Prisoners, CURB staff also helps organize the coalition’s Statewide Workgroup, Legislative Workgroup, and Media Workgroup.
AB 256 Racial Justice Act for All
When we passed AB 2542 the Racial Justice Act in 2020, we vowed to come back with a new bill that will apply retroactively. AB 256 will do just that. While The Racial Justice Act (2020) made it possible for a person charged or convicted of a crime to challenge racial bias in their case, AB 256 extends these commonsense and overdue protections to those who have already been impacted by unfair convictions and sentences. Providing for retroactivity will give these individuals an equal opportunity to pursue justice. Follow this bill on social media using #RJA4All –
More info (FUEL page): https://www.endfmrnow.org/sb-300
SB 483 Repeal Ineffective Sentence Enhancements (RISE) Act (Sen. Allen)
SB 483 the RISE Act would declare some prior enhancements (1-year enhancement for prior felonies which CURB repealed with SB 136; the 3-year enhancement for prior drug convictions which CURB repealed with SB 180) to be legally invalid. Sentence enhancements based on prior convictions target the poorest and most marginalized people in our communities, and SB 483 would force CDCR and counties across California to identify people who are still incarcerated using these enhancements and automatically remove them, effectively resentencing them and expediting their release. Follow this bill on social media using #SB483 and #RISE
SB 300 Sentencing Reform Act of 2021
SB 300 will be the first bill in California history to reduce the state’s ability to sentence adults to Life Without Parole, which disportionately targets our most vulnerable communities including women, TGI folks, youth, Black, brown, and poor people. If passed, SB 300 will ensure that the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) cannot be imposed on those who did not kill (nor intend that a person die) during a crime. The bill will also severely limit LWOP convictions for felony murder and allow convicted individuals to apply for re-sentencing, providing a pathway for unjustly sentenced people to return to their families and communities. Follow this bill on social media using #SB300
More info (FUEL page): https://www.endfmrnow.org/sb-300