Hard won gains to end gang-based solitary confinement in California are in jeopardy if Governor Jerry Brown has his way by adding 48 new gang investigators in the state budget, at a cost of $5.8 million.
Legislative Budget Committees are determining which items in the Governor’s proposed budget to approve and which to reject. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to REJECT the $5.8 million for new gang investigators.
It is vitally important that the Assembly committee does the same.
Such investigators find reasons to label behaviors as “gang related” and to keep people in prison longer, or house them in long-term isolation. Now that hundreds of people have been taken out of solitary, after prisoners went on hunger strike three times between 2011 and 2013, we must not support new efforts to punish them.
The Gang Framework that has been governing the use of solitary confinement has been found to be completely unjustified. It should be dismantled and the money re-directed to positive programs.
Call the members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee and urge them to reject the $5.8 million and stop investing in failed programs:
Nora Campos, Chair, 916-319-2027
Chris Holden, 916-319-2041
Tom Lackey, 916-319-2036
Melissa Melendez, 916-319-2067
Freddie Rodriguez, 916-319-2052
Phil Ting, 916-319-2019
American Friends Service Committee
A member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget