At Thursday’s meeting, the Board of State and Community Corrections will decide whether to approve $500 million to build new jails in 15 counties, including San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Yolo, Placer, and many more. Sheriffs across the state are justifying this jail-building frenzy by claiming the new jails will improve treatment of incarcerated people.
But we know that no matter how they are advertised, jails harm people, tear apart families, and weaken communities. We know that our communities need services and support — not more imprisonment in newer cages.
The new jails are only the first stage of the law enforcement money-grab. At the same meeting on Thursday, the BSCC will begin deciding how to allocate the savings from reduced prison costs due to Prop 47 — funds that are supposed to be invested in community-based mental health and substance use treatment programs. But now that sheriffs have positioned themselves as treatment providers, they’re looking to seize that money as well.
You read that right: The same agency that has doled out billions of dollars to build new jails — which exacerbate mental health conditions — is also determining the fate of funds intended for mental health and substance use treatment. We need to make sure these funds go to effective and supportive programs run by community members, not by law enforcement.
Join us in Sacramento to tell state officials that we need to close jails, reduce imprisonment, and improve community care — not erect new cages marketed as mental health facilities that will lock up even more of our community!
- 7:30 – Meet at Ashby BART to carpool to the Capitol
- 9:30 – Hear from community members fighting jail expansion and imprisonment at our press conference outside the BSCC hearing (2590 Venture Oaks Way, Sacramento)
- 10:00 – Fill the hearing to tell state officials what our communities want and need! (Lunch will be provided)
Can’t make it to Sacramento? Tune in to watch the action live!
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statewide Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Californians United for a Responsible Budget