For Immediate Release: July 16, 2012
Mary Sutton, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, 310-709-8602
Kim McGill, Youth Justice Coalition, 323-327-1259
What: Press Conference and Rally
When: Tuesday, July 17th at 10am
Where: Steps of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration – LA Board of Supervisors, 500 W. Temple Street btw. Hill and Grand
Los Angeles – Young people, advocates, faith leaders, formerly incarcerated people and their families will gather outside the Los Angeles County Supervisor’s (BOS) meeting on Tuesday to challenge LA County’s proposed expansion of its jails. In a letter sent last Thursday to the County Board of Supervisors, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), the L.A. Reintegration Campaign and allied partners made an urgent request to be placed on the agenda to present their concerns and proposals in regard to realignment and L.A. County’s jail expansion plans.
Residents from around the county have voiced strong opposition to the counties jail expansion plans, citing the county’s budget crisis and a need to reduce the current jail population. “Los Angeles County already locks up more people then any county in the world, the last thing we need is another jail. This decades-long addiction to imprisonment has bankrupted our ability to provide adequate services,” says David Stein of Critical Resistance, one of the organization organizing Tuesday’s mobilization “We need to be investing these realignment dollars to strengthen re-entry programs, fund effective services, and offer treatment, housing, education, and job support to people returning home from prison or jail.”
Organizations working against jail expansion in LA County have emphasized the need to address the county and states high recidivism rate and urge the County Supervisors to fully integrate community and faith based organizations into the realignment implementation as stipulated in the plan voted on by the Board in Fall 2011. Proposed solutions include:
1) use unspent AB109 funding to expand essential services
2) provide everyone returning home with essential medical documents, official I.D., a Metro/Bus pass, a library card referrals, etc.
3) coordinate and fund community-led efforts to create support networks to ensure that individuals coming home from prison or jail have every chance for success.
CURB says it will continue to push LA Supervisors to replace increased policing, heavy handed supervision and suppression, unnecessary violations, flash incarceration, and long holds in violently overcrowded cells with community-based solutions that will reduce recidivism. The threat of jail expansion continues amidst numerous lawsuits surrounding allegations of systematic abuse and torture in LA’s jails as well as numerous reports and expert opinions recommending against the rampant misuse of incarceration in the county.