Over 70 Organizations Oppose Costly Sacramento Jail Expansion

10/31/11

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors
700 H Street, Suite 1450
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Board of Supervisors,

We, the undersigned, write to you in strong opposition to the proposed reopening of the Roger Bauman Facility (RBF) at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. We are affiliated with Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) a broad-based statewide alliance of over 40 organizations committed to reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state, many of our members live and work in Sacramento County.

After reviewing 13 Community Corrections Partnership Public Safety Realignment Plans, Sacramento County received a failing grade on our recent Realignment Report Card.1 We have strong concerns with the disproportionate amount of the Sacramento County realignment budget being allocated to expand jail capacity.  The Sheriff Department’s proposal to reopen the Roger Bauman Facility at RCCC requires $5.98 million, or 46%, of the 2011-2012 realignment budget for the Sacramento County.2 Every month that the RBF remains closed will save Sacramento County approximately $700,000.3 Scarce county dollars should go to programs that are shown to work, rather than an unnecessarily expanding jail space at RBF.

As you are probably aware, California counties are already spending anywhere from 70% to 80% of their general fund budgets on public safety and an inadequately funded public safety realignment plan could mean the elimination or further reduction of city parks, schools, libraries and municipal support services for youth and elderly populations in the state.

Expanding incarceration has failed to reduce recidivism rates in California and will only creative incentives for the Sheriff to fill the reopened beds, and to incarcerate rather then find other safe options. The Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to use realignment dollars to increase access to rehabilitation services for people in and outside of our jails, while protecting public safety and reducing costs. There is clear evidence that diversion programs and alternatives to incarceration save money and improve public safety in both the short and long term.  The people who will be returning to your county are in need of educational, physical and mental health services, substance abuse and treatment services, and life skills services that could be provided much more cheaply, effectively and comprehensively outside of jail. Strong, independent re-entry services are proven to reduce recidivism and save public dollars.

We believe that California needs a prison & jail expansion moratorium, and we urge you to vote against the jail expansion proposal at your upcoming November 1st Board of Supervisors meeting.
Thank You,

Sacramento County Based Organizations/Residents
Aaliyah Muhammad, All of Us or None – Sacramento
Bob Erlenbusch, Sacramento Housing Alliance
Christine A. Thomas, Sacramento County Resident
Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes – Northern California Chapter
Gail Brown, Life Support Alliance – Sacramento
Glenn Backes, Public Policy Research & Consulting – Sacramento
Jim Lindburg, Friends Committee on Legislation in California
Kerri Asbury, Chair of Sacramento County Democratic Party
Dr. Tony Platt, Professor emeritus – Cal State Sacramento
Vanessa Nelson, Life Support Alliance – Sacramento

Organizations from Across the State
A New PATH LA –  Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing
A New Way of Life Reentry Project
Action Committee on Women in Prison
All of Us or None
America Friends Service Committee
American Civil Liberties Union Southern California
Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement
California Partnership
California Prison Moratorium Project
Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Center for Young Women’s Development
Community United Against Violence
Community Justice Network for Youth
Community Works West – Project WHAT!
Conservatives for Social Change
Critical Resistance
Development Services
Dignity In Schools: Golden Gate School of Law Chapter
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Drug Policy Alliance
El Cerrito Democratic Club
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Enlace
Fair Chance Project
Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes
Friends Committee on Legislation
Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal
Haywood Burns Institute
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
Iraq Veterans Against the War – San Francisco Chapter
Justice Now
Justice Policy Institute
Juvenile Offenders Committee
La Raza Centro Legal
Labor/Community Strategy Center
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Life Support Alliance
Moms United to End the War on Drugs
National Association of Brothers and Sisters In & Out
OASIS Clinic
Prison Activist Resource Center
Prison Policy Initiative
Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles
Progressive Democrats of Santa Monica Mountains
Quaker Friends – Santa Cruz
Returning Home Foundation
RUACH
San Gabriel Progressives
Sentencing and Justice Reform Advocacy – Advocate
Sisters of St. Joseph – Los Angeles
Southern California Library
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
The Dolores Huerta Foundation
The Other Death Penalty Project
The Sentencing Project
Time for Change Foundation
Tony Platt, Visiting Professor, Justice Studies, San Jose State University
Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project
United for Drug Policy Reform
Women for Change Foundation
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Santa Cruz
Youth Communist League of Southern California
Youth Justice Coalition

Californians United for a Responsible Budget
1322 Webster St. #210
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-435-1176
Fax: 510-839-7615
www.curbprisonspending.org

cc:
District 1: Supervisor Phil Serna 
Email: SupervisorSerna@saccounty.net  
916-874-5485
District 2: Supervisor Jimmie Yee 
Email: JYee@saccounty.net 
916-874-5481
District 3 : Supervisor Susan Peters 
Email: SusanPeters@saccounty.net 
916-874-5471
District 4 : Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan 
Email: MacGlashanR@saccounty.net 
916-874-5491
District 5: Supervisor Don Nottoli 
Email: NottoliD@saccounty.net 
916-874-5465