New LA Supervisors Question $2 Billion Jail Plan​, Diana Zuñiga of LA No More Jails Responds

For Immediate Release – December 3, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Tsao – 213-864-8931 or christina@curbprisonspending.org

Statement by Diana Zuñiga, Statewide Field Organizer for Californians United for a Responsible Budget and member of the LA No More Jails Campaign, on new LA Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl’s statements regarding the $2.3 billion jail plan. Earlier this week the Los Angeles Times reported that “Solis warned of an ‘incarceration-industrial complex that will sink our economy as well as our society if we allow it to.’ Kuehl said in an interview that she wants to revisit a recent decision by the previous board to spend $2 billion building jail facilities, including a new central jail.”

“I applaud Supervisors Kuehl and Solis for questioning both mass incarceration and the massive jail plan here in LA. It’s time for Los Angeles to abandon the failed policies that have imprisoned more and more Angelenos over the last several decades. LA has already seen an unexpected decrease in the jail population, this will continue with the increase in the use of split sentencing, the implementation of Prop. 47, and the DA’s comprehensive mental health diversion program. ​It is essential that under new leadership, LA County immediately cancel the plan to build a mega jail and refuse to send Angelenos to be housed in jails in Adelanto, or any other county, and invest in robust community-based alternatives to imprisonment.”

Last month, California voters passed Proposition 47 the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, which reclassified drug possession for personal use and petty-theft-related offenses as misdemeanors. A recent report from the Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice suggests that once implemented, LA could reduce their jail population by 7,200 and save the County up to $170 million annually.

For more information, or for interviews with Diana Zuñiga or other LA No More Jails Members, please contact Christina Tsao at 213-864-8931 or by email at christina@curbprisonspending.org

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CURB is a statewide coalition of over 70 organizations working to reduce the number of people in prison in California and the number of prisons and jails in the state.

LA No More jails is a Los Angeles based coalition of advocates, service providers, formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones working together to redirect realignment funds towards community-based alternatives instead of expanding LA County’s jail capacity.