Hundreds Turn Out to Oppose Massive LA County Jail Expansion

January 24, 2012
Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Los Angeles? Over two hundred community members showed an enthusiastic display of opposition to the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Department?s move to expand LA County?s jails. After noting much community pressure, the Supervisors immediately backed down from the $1.4 billion dollar expansion
plan that Sheriff Baca proposed in October. While the supervisors did not decide to withdraw the county?s application for state AB 900 Phase 2 jail construction funding, they did slow the pace on the commissioning of a $5.7 million report on possible jail expansion.
Throughout the meeting a series of reports from the Vera Justice Institute, ACLU, and the anticipated report form expert Jim Austin were cited, outlining countless solutions to LA?s notorious jail conditions and overcrowding. ?If the Board of Supervisors is so concerned about improving conditions in the jail then
let?s do what we know. The only solution is to reduce the jail population, not to build more cells? notes Emily Harris, Statewide Coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget. ?We know the Supervisors won?t vote for an outright $1.4 billion dollar expansion, but moving forward with the AB 900
applications shows that the Supervisors are still investing in moving forward with failed expansion policies. We fear that in the place of a one-time massive allocation, they will try to deceive LA residents by pushing forward a series of small expansion plans that amount to the same thing.
Outside the Kenneth Hahn administrative building, nearly a dozen LA-based organizations rallied their people for two hours before entering the hall and giving an hour and half of public comment to the Board. ?Obviously we want the board of supervisors to align themselves with the vast majority of LA residents in
opposing any new jail cells in our county,? said David Chavez of Critical Resistance and the Youth Justice Coalition, two lead organizers of Tuesday?s mobilization. ?While the Board voted against the voices of the people today, it is also clear that people are not going to back down from there demands that resources go toward reentry services, educating residents of this city, toward healthcare, toward jobs, not toward locking them up. We will certainly be back, and I am sure we will be back even stronger.?

Gang Injunctions are Spreading, Communities are Reacting

On Friday, January 6th, Inglewood’s First District Councilman, Mike Stevens visited Chuco?s Justice Center. We asked him about rumors we had heard that Mayor Butts and Police Chief Seabrooks were considering the development of Inglewood?s first gang injunction. Councilman Stevens said that it was on the agenda for the following City Council meeting.
On Tuesday, January 10th, when we arrived at the City Council, we were told by the police officer (who is on duty at each meeting) that the matter was voted on in an earlier closed session to authorize $10,000 in spending to have the injunction written.
Although the matter had been decided prior to public comment, YJC members testified anyway to voice our opposition.
Brandy Brown illustrated how injunctions in Los Angeles had impacted their families? abilities to stay connected. Said Brandy, ?My cousins couldn?t even go to my brother?s funeral because they were arrested at his candlelight vigil for ?associating with gang members? even though that was their family.? Henry Sandoval described injunctions as ?keeping youth from being able to take advantage of education, jobs and housing. This really discourages us from being positive. How do you expect us to leave the street life behind??
Tanisha Denard questioned why $10,000 was needed when plenty of cities have injunctions that can be used to cut and paste. She said, ?This city is hurting for money, and Inglewood School District is about to declare bankruptcy, but we have $10,000 to write an injunction??
Treva Ellison emphasized that ?good public policy is written in consultation with the community, not in secret meetings.? Kim McGill explained that injunctions have historically been used as tools for gentrification and have not stabilized, but displaced families and communities of color. She added, ?We are very concerned that this decision was made without a public hearing, and urge the City Council to schedule a time for those youth and families who will be most impacted to speak to you.?
The Mayor promised to have Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks contact us. On Friday, January 13th, Chief Seabrooks did call and answered several of our questions: 1. The budget to pay for the writing of an injunction was approved at a City Council meeting in October. 2. The $10,000 budget allocation made at last Tuesday’s meeting was only a partial payment. The total allocation authorized for the writing of the injunction is $160,000. 3. The Chief would not indicate what neighborhoods would be targeted for the injunction, but did say that several would be enjoined. 4. She agreed to meet with us regarding our concerns, and will schedule a meeting with us this week.
The YJC will work to challenge the injunction as this process moves forward. To get involved, contact us at 323-235-4243 or by e-mail ? freelanow@yahoo.com. Look out for future action updates for a community forum on this matter.

Stop LA Jail Expansion: Pack the Board of Supervisors Jan 24th!

On January 24th, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors will discuss whether or not to approve Sheriff Baca’s latest plan to rob LA: a new jail that will cost $2.66 billion dollars ($1.4 billion to build and $1.26 billion in interest to bankers).
Let’s send the Supervisors a simple and clear message: Vote No on Jail Expansion in LA.
LA county needs more education, health care, jobs, and housing, not cages!
What can you do to stop the expansion?
Come to the Supervisor meeting: Join residents from across LA on the 24th to send a strong message that we don’t want more jail cells. We will be sending out more information as we get it.
Call your Supervisor: and urge them to VOTE NO on the jail expansion. Click here to find your Supervisor
Forward the petition: urging LA Supervisors to vote NO on the jail expansion. Send the link to as many people as you can.
Get involved! A coalition of residents and community-based groups meets every Sunday at 5 pm at Chuco’s Justice Center. Come join the fight. Email LA Critical Resistance organizer Mary Sutton for more information.
LA doesn’t want, doesn’t need and can’t afford more jail cells!
What do LA residents have to say about Baca’s plan? Watch Carmen Vega from the Los Angeles Poverty Department speak out against LA’s jail expansion plans more jails in LA.
With the resources Sheriff Baca already has, he has created an international disgrace in LA County jails, where the torture of inadequate medical and mental healthcare and pervasive brutal beatings are routine.
It’s time to stop using LA jails as mental health hospitals and homeless shelters. The only sustainable solution to overcrowding is to send less people to jail.
LA does not have $2.66 billion dollars to waste on harmful jails. 14.5% of LA residents are unemployed; 40% live without health insurance; and at least 51,000 people are homeless.
For more information: visit www.curbprisonspending.org, follow CURB on twitter! @CURB_Prisons and join the CURB Action Email list!

JAN 24th: MOBILIZE TO STOP JAIL EXPANSION AND SAVE LA COUNTY!


On January 24th, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors will discuss whether or not to approve Sheriff Baca’s latest plan to rob LA: a new jail that will cost $2.66 billion dollars ($1.4 billion to build and $1.26 billion in interest to bankers).
Really?
We REALLY need to show Board of Supes that we don’t want $2 billion plus spent on jails!!The only way to do that is to have a presence on Jan 24th
9:30 a.m., in the Board’s Hearing Room Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

What can you do to stop the expansion?

Call your Supervisor and urge them to VOTE NO on the jail expansion Click here to find your Supervisor
Sign & forward the petition urging LA Supervisors to vote NO on the jail expansion. Send the link to as many people as you can.

Help us organize!

A coalition of residents and community-based groups meets every Sunday at 5 pm at Chuco’s Justice Center. Come join the fight.Email Emily Harris, CURB Coordinator, for more information. Chuco’s is located at 1137 E. Redondo Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90302
With the resources Sheriff Baca already has, he has created an international disgrace in LA County jails, where the torture of inadequate medical and mental healthcare and pervasive brutal beatings are routine.
It’s time to stop using LA jails as mental health hospitals and homeless shelters. The only sustainable solution to overcrowding is to send less people to jail.
LA does not have $2.66 billion dollars to waste on harmful jails. 14.5% of LA residents are unemployed; 40% live without health insurance; and at least 51,000 people are homeless.
What could LA do with $2.66 Billion?
$55 million: hire 500 registered nurses
$50 million: hire 400 people in the Dept. of Mental Health
$55 million: hire 375 people for prevention and early intervention services
$366.4 million: Stop Medi-Cal, Mental Health Services, CalWORKs, In-Home Support Services cuts at the state level from hitting LA residents
$816 million:End homelessness in LA (rent 40,000 2 bedroom apartments for a year at $1700/month)
$1.3 billion: close LAUSD 2011-2013 anticipated budget gaps, save further cuts
Total: $2.64 Billion