SACRAMENTO, CA – Community leaders and members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) released the following statement representing counties throughout California that did not receive jail construction funding through SB 863. At the beginning of November a California state agency recommended distributing a half billion dollars to fund jail construction in 15 counties. Today, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) will have one final vote to officially approve recommendations. Organizers and advocates from across California release this solidarity statement against jail construction of any kind with the demand that Prop 47 savings be invested in real community-based solutions:
“For over a decade, community members in Los Angeles have pushed against the massive jail expansion plan that now has a $2 billion price tag,” said Jayda Rasberry of Dignity and Power Now. “We have continued to see the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department submit over four different jail construction applications instead of focusing that energy in sustainable jail reduction policies. We are glad that Los Angeles was denied funding, and we continue to stand in solidarity with our comrades from throughout the state to demand that jail construction stop and that community-based services throughout the state reap the benefits of the Prop.47 savings that we all have been anticipating.”
“The Inland Empire continues to stand up against any newly constructed “social service” jails in our county or in any other county in California,” said Rosie Flores of California Partnership and the Riverside Alternatives to Jail Expansion Coalition. “It is clear by now that the best treatment and education cannot happen in jail and our hope is that the Prop.47 savings that we fought so hard for will go to the out-of-custody services that are a vital step towards building healthy communities. The High Desert’s Prison Industrial Complex is already the home of four prisons in Adelanto and two newly constructed jails in San Bernardino and Riverside. We don’t need more jails. We need significant restorations to anti-poverty, education and social safety net programs that have suffered years of cuts in our communities.”
“The Contra Costa community was able to show our Board of Supervisors that a new jail would be too costly and was not necessary in our county,” said Chance Grable of the Contra Costa County Racial Justice Coalition. “We are here today to let the Board of State and Community Corrections know that we appreciate that they heard our local cry against jail expansion, but that they also should recognize the strong opposition against new jails throughout California. We continue to be connected to our colleagues throughout the state and are fighting to make sure that Prop.47 savings truly goes towards saving lives and improving our communities. We know that Contra Costa, Alameda, and several other counties need the BSCC to commit to a long overdue investment in out-of-custody, community-based services that will keep our people home.”
CURB is a statewide alliance of over 70 grassroots organizations working to reduce the number of people incarcerated in California and the number of prisons and jails in the state. CURB has been working with several local coalitions fighting jail expansion such as Los Angeles No More Jails, Riverside Alternatives to Jail Expansion, San Diego No More Prisons, No New SF Jail, and many more.