In December, we celebrated an enormous victory when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected plans for a new jail.
But last week, on the deadline for officially returning state financing for the jail, we were shocked to learn that San Francisco city officials had covertly requested a 180-day extension for their decision, arguing that they may still build the new jail “as proposed”.
The jail pushers — the City’s conservative governmental block and their wealthy base — are doing everything they can to circumvent the will of San Francisco, and to build a jail that we have demonstrated that we do not want or need.
Members of the No New SF Jail Coalition are participating in the City’s Workgroup to Re-envision the Jail Replacement Project — and we will not be deceived by sneaky backroom attempts to push forward on cage construction! We will not contribute to plans to build any sort of jailing facility, but will develop plans for the City to permanently close 850 Bryant and to meet the needs of communities most impacted by incarceration.
The first open meeting of this workgroup is on March 11 from 2:00-5:00pm at 25 Van Ness, Room 610.
We need a strong community presence at these monthly meetings (through October), to hold SF accountable and ensure the focus is jail closure, not rebuild.
We know it is possible to say no to funding for jail construction, expansion, and renovation. More importantly, San Francisco has shown that it is possible to say yes to community investments, such as supportive housing, community-based mental health care, and treatment on-demand. These services and programs will ultimately keep more San Francisco residents out of jails and prisons and in our communities where we can heal and transform our lives.