December, 6th 2011
Contact: Isaac Ontiveros, 510-444-0484
Oakland – The statewide alliance Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), working to fight against prison and jail expansion in California today announced the launch of its first National Board of Advisors. The inauguration of the Board comes at a time of potential for change in California given the recent Supreme Court decision mandating reduction of the prison population and the current realignment of low-level prisoners to the county.
CURB’s National Board includes leaders from across the country and throughout California with a diverse background in policy change and anti-prison work, including two members who are currently imprisoned in California.
National Advisory Board Members include:
- Susan Burton: (Los Angeles, CA) Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project which provides housing and support services to formerly incarcerated women in South Central Los Angeles. Susan is formerly incarcerated and was recently nominated as a CNN Top 10 Hero in the category of “community crusader.”
- Dolores Canales: (Orange County, CA) Co-founded California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement. Dolores has a son in the Pelican Bay segregated housing unit and has organized with family members in support of the Hunger Strike.
- Jane Dorotik: (in prison, CA) Organizer serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women. Jane is a Board Member of Justice Now and active with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Jane has written extensively about the conditions of women prisoners in California.
- Ruthie Wilson Gilmore: (New York) is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and Visiting Professor at Escola Maumaus in Lisbon. Her prize-winning books is Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007).
- Kenneth Hartman: (in prison, CA) Incarcerated writer and activist. He has served more than 30 continuous years of a life without the possibility of parole sentence and is imprisoned at California State Prison Lancaster. He has been published widely and recently released his memoir Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars, (Atlas & Co. 2009).
- Bonnie Long: (Los Angeles, CA) is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Long Beach. Bonnie is Chair of the Inmate Family Council at CIW, a member of the Statewide Family Council and the Gender Response Strategies Commission.
- Sara Norman: (Berkeley, CA) is the managing attorney of the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of youth and adults behind bars in California. She has been with the office for fifteen years and specializes in representing prisoners with disabilities and incarcerated juveniles.
- Dorsey Nunn: (Menlo Park, CA) is the Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC). He is the Co-Founder of All of Us or None. Dorsey was sentenced to life in the California Department of Corrections when he was 19 years old. He paroled in 1981 and discharged from parole in 1984.
- Marj Plumb: (Berkeley, CA) is a non-profit consultant and trainer. She is a nationally recognized expert on gay and lesbian and women’s health policy and served for over twenty years in senior management positions with a variety of public, private and non-profit organizations. Marj is Director of the Women’s Policy Institute (a project of the Women’s Foundation of California).
- Nicole Porter: (Washington DC) is the State Advocacy Coordinator for the Sentencing Project. She coordinates state level communication and legislative campaigns on criminal justice policy and state and local advocacy efforts on voting rights, reentry and racial disparity.
“The Board Members bring a wealth of expertise and experience that will help CURB continue to expand our voice against prison and jail expansion, to push for alternatives to incarceration, necessary parole and sentencing reforms and to create a Budget for Humanity in California in which all people have access to critical education and social services necessary to live a life of dignity,” said Emily Harris, Statewide Coordinator of CURB. “The value of their guidance, insight and perspective is immeasurable, and we are deeply honored to have them join the diverse group of National Advisors.
The Board will advise CURB on a range of issues, including applying lessons learned from other social justice fields, coalition building, innovations and challenges facing advocates in other states working to reduce their prison population and work with CURB to fight against prison and jail expansion in California.
About Californians United for a Responsible Budget:
CURB is statewide alliance of over 40 organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California. Since its founding in 2003, CURB has helped defeat over 140,000 new prison and jail beds proposed since 2004. For more information visit www.curbprisonspending.org