We are calling for everyone in California to sign-on and fill in the required fields to send/fax the following letter to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, asking them to stop the expansion of jails, and fees they are planning on imposing on prisoners.
Let them know that increasing jail capacity is not the solution, and that charging prisoners $142 a day is unfair!
John J. Benoit
John F. Tavaglione
To Complete the Petition Click HERE!
December 8, 2011
Riverside County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon Street – 5th Floor
Riverside, California 92501
Dear Riverside Board of Supervisors,
We, the undersigned, write to you in strong opposition to the proposal to expand Riverside County’s jail capacity in response to realignment (AB 109) and to charge prisoners $142 a day to imprison them. We are affiliated with Riverside All of US or NONE, Take Action California, Straight Talk, Inland Action Coalition, Starting Over, Inc., Riverside County Progressive PAC, DFA Riverside, Today’s Urban Renewal Network, Riverside California Partnership Chapter Community Based Organizations and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) a broad-based statewide alliance of organizations committed to reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state, our members live and work in Riverside County.
We have been made aware that the Corrections Standards Authority has invited Riverside County to apply for $100,000,000 of AB 900 Phase II funding to add beds to our County jail. In order to receive AB 900 money Riverside County must provide a 10% match or $10,000,000 and all annual operating costs. We do not support any efforts to expand the jail in our County. After reviewing Riverside County’s Realignment Plan we have strong concerns with using realignment funding or any County general fund money to expand the jail capacity. Additionally, we are appalled by the proposal to charge people for their incarceration. Instead, we believe the realignment should be utilized to expand community programs and alternatives to incarceration and not create reasons for the county to send people to jail.
As you are probably aware, California counties are already spending anywhere from 70% to 80% of their general fund budgets on public safety and using the realignment plan to expand jail capacity 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 create incentives for the Sheriff to fill the new 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.
The State of California decided to fund prisons over all else, it’s time for counties to make a different choice. Making bold moves to stop jail expansion now means counties will have more resources to solve our problems creatively. We urge you to not seek AB 900 funds or to use any of the realignment funding to expand the Riverside County’s jails.
All of Us or None – Riverside Chapter
Inland Action Coalition
Riverside County Progressive PAC
Today’s Urban Renewal Network
Riverside California Partnership Chapter
Take Action California
Californians United for A Responsible Budget