California: On Wednesday, February 19th in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco a broad coalition of organizations representing housing, health care, faith, youth, women’s issues, criminal justice, and more will deliver a response letter to the 2 year extension on prison overcrowding. The letter, delivered to Governor Jerry Brown, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Speaker John Perez, calls on the leadership of state of California to respond to immediately reduce prison overcrowding by expanding parole and sentencing reform measures, investing resources in restorations to the social safety net and canceling all prison expansion plans.
“We appreciate the steps the court has taken to address prison overcrowding and support their order not to send additional prisoners to out-of-state facilities. However, unless we immediately cancel all of Governor Brown’s current plans to expand California’s prison capacity by over 5,000 new beds, we will not solve the crisis. The end result will not be a more just, equitable, and safe state, it will be more people in cages in California. We remain deeply concerned regarding the human and financial cost of the Governor’s proposed expansion of the prison system. We urge the Legislature to take immediate action to reduce the prison population.” Diana Zuñiga, Field Organizer for Californians United for a Responsible Budget.
Participating organizations include: A New PATH, All of Us or None – San Diego, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, California Partnership, California Prison Focus, Community Hispanic Association, Courage Campaign, Critical Resistance, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, California Prison Moratorium Project, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, FACTS Education Fund, Fair Chance Project, Freedom Archives, Friends Committee on Legislation California, Grey Panthers of San Francisco, Invest in Education Not Incarceration Transform Education, ISIDORE, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, The Los Angeles Community Action Network, National Association of Social Workers – CA Chapter, National Lawyers Guild – SF Bay Chapter, People’s Power Assembly – United for Racial Justice, PICO California, Sin Barras – Santa Cruz, United Against Police Terror – San Diego, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and the Youth Justice Coalition along with hundreds of organizations and individuals.