Close california prisons
The Close California Prisons campaign, a growing coalition of racial and economic justice organizations anchored by CURB, is working to close 10 prisons in California by 2025.
Prison closure is imperative for our state. California’s prisons have a devastating impact on communities of color, rural communities, and working class communities. As the state takes on climate change and economic revitalization, there is a real opportunity to shut down toxic prisons and invest in dignified workforce development.
The #CloseCAPrisons campaign is built on decades of work. It’s well past time to shrink the imprisoned population size, stop jail and prison expansion, and roll back “tough on crime” sentencing. There is increased political will on a state level, with the reality of lowered numbers of imprisoned people and a growing racial justice movement demanding less reliance on policing and imprisonment.
Why We Care About Closing Prisons
CURB's Prison Closure Roadmap
In February 2023, CURB’s #CloseCAPrisons campaign released a Prison Closure Roadmap. This roadmap offers a decarceral just transition framework, whereby California can support any city or town with a prison in shifting the local economy and community away from a perceived reliance on incarceration, and toward healthy and life-affirming investments in services, infrastructure, and high road jobs. The roadmap offers ten state-owned prisons as priorities to be named for closure by 2025 based on input from 2,386 systems-impacted people representing every prison in the state.
In light of recent closure announcements, cost-savings from prison closure, ongoing projected declines in the incarcerated population, findings from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), continued harm caused by prisons reported by those inside, this roadmap comes at an opportune and critical juncture.
The roadmap focuses on these four key areas:
- Prison Population Reduction and Facility Closure Strategies
- Selecting Prisons for Closure
- Decarceral Just Transition: Support for Impacted Communities
- Prison Repurposing
The People's Plan for Prison Closure
In April 2021, the CURB coalition released The People’s Plan for Prison Closure, a visionary report that outlines the failures of California’s bloated carceral system, and offers bold, community-centered solutions for our jail problem.
Within the report, you’ll find information such as:
- More about the CURB coalition and our mission
- A bold plan to close the ten worst California prisons by 2025
- A brief history of how California became the largest jailer and jail system in the world
- The environmental, economical, and human costs of mass incarceration and of jail facilities, themselves
- The fiscal irresponsibility of maintaining the status quo
- A plan for reinvesting carceral dollars to bolster our economy and create jobs for community members and former CA Department of Corrections employees
- A wide range of research and supporting materials that will provide useful context for anyone who wants to better understand why the abolition of California prisons and jails is essential to our community well-being as California moves into a healthier, happier future with equitable outcomes and opportunity for all to thrive
CURB’s list of priority prisons to close, based on surveys from 2,000 systems-impacted people.