Children of incarcerated parents say no to a new jail in San Francisco


by Project WHAT! Youth Advocates Cecillia Nicole Galeano, Lizzie Garcia and Daniel Martinez

Project WHAT! members participated in the Statewide Action Against Jail Expansion in Sacramento in December 2013.
Project WHAT! members participated in the Statewide Action Against Jail Expansion in Sacramento in December 2013.

There are currently more than 2.7 million children in the United States with a parent who is incarcerated. According to the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, San Francisco had an estimated 17,993 children with a parent incarcerated in 2010.

San Francisco’s jail population is steadily decreasing, and we hope that the number of San Francisco youth struggling to find support during their parents’ and family members’ incarceration will decrease with it. This is why we as youth who have all experienced parental incarceration in San Francisco oppose a new jail in our city.

Jails and prisons do not make cities safer or communities stronger. They are disruptive. They target poor people, people of color, homeless people, transgender and gender queer people, and youth, among others. They tear families apart. They take parents away from their children.

They ignore what is really at the root of the problem. This city needs to address the issues facing the people who live here, but building a new jail will not solve any of our problems. San Francisco needs to prioritize the needs of those who live here, the residents who make up our communities, rather than locking more people up.

We understand that the Hall of Justice needs to be rebuilt because it is unsafe. It is important that the offices and courtrooms are safe. However, it does not make sense to build a new jail with it that would cost the city upwards of $290 million.

We as youth who have all experienced parental incarceration in San Francisco oppose a new jail in our city.

The money that would be used for the jail could be put to much better use. It could go to helping those with mental illness and drug addiction get the proper treatment, rehabilitation and support they need to live fulfilling lives. It could provide homeless people with safe and affordable housing. It could improve our underfunded schools. It could provide better health care and access to health care for us all.

We as children of incarcerated parents need help too in our parents’ absence. We need financial support. There is a considerable financial burden placed on our families when our parents are removed from our lives. We need mental health and wellness resources to cope with the emotional burden.

This poster was created by Amy Vanderwarker of the San Francisco Print Collective in support of the San Francisco No New Jail Campaign.
This poster was created by Amy Vanderwarker of the San Francisco Print Collective in support of the San Francisco No New Jail Campaign.

Having a parent incarcerated is a deeply traumatic experience. We need access to counseling and therapy. We need academic support from our schools, understanding and accommodations from our educators. We need better public housing, not more jail beds. Spend money on keeping our parents out of jail, not locked up.

Why doesn’t the money that will be spent on putting our parents in jail go towards actually helping them? Alternatives to incarceration are less expensive and much more effective than putting people behind bars. One of our fathers wanted to go to a rehabilitation center in San Francisco but couldn’t because they were full. There was no other option for him.

He had no treatment when he was sent to jail. Instead, we had to suffer. His family had to go through emotional trauma that could have been avoided. A new jail is going to force more children to go through the same kind of trauma that we go through. Rehabilitation programs would lower the number of parents getting incarcerated; they would save the city money and would make San Francisco a stronger community – in addition to eliminating any need for new jail beds.

Those in support of building a new jail in San Francisco have argued that this new jail will be more “family friendly.” There is no such thing as a family friendly jail. Regardless of the conditions of visiting, we would rather see our parents getting the help they need and stay in our lives than visit them in a better visiting room within a jail.

Why invest in a new jail rather than the potential of our youth?

If you want a solution that doesn’t punish children, a better visiting room is not good enough. A better visiting room does not make up for all of the things children of incarcerated parents need in the absence of their parent.

We need our parents at home. We need access to those support services that will keep our parents home, rather than costing the city more money by continuing to go in and out of jail with addiction problems, mental health issues and poverty that can all be combated. If the city of San Francisco really cared about children with incarcerated parents having better relationships with their parents, they would be spending money on keeping parents out of jail, not building new places to lock them away.

This poster was designed by Fiona Glas of the San Francisco Print Collective in support of the SF No New Jail Campaign.
This poster was designed by Fiona Glas of the San Francisco Print Collective in support of the SF No New Jail Campaign.

We know firsthand what services children and families of those in our jail system need. It is absurd to argue that spending money to build a new jail will benefit children of incarcerated parents by providing a better environment for us to interact with our parents and provide more programming inside the jail.

It would benefit us to use that money for re-entry services that will keep our parents out of jail and provide sustainable living for us all. Funding a new jail will make it harder for our younger siblings to successfully grow up in San Francisco because there will be less money for books in our schools, for healthy food in our cafeterias and for safe places to go to after school; it will make it harder for our youth to thrive.

Why invest in a new jail rather than the potential of our youth? Helping a child or teen know their potential today could very well reduce the need for a new jail tomorrow. San Francisco has done a great job at providing alternatives to incarceration and we urge the city to stay committed to that vision, which means not using our money to fund a new jail.

Project WHAT! Youth Advocates Cecillia Nicole Galeano, Lizzie Garcia and Daniel Martinez, can be reached via Facebook, at Project WHAT! a program of Community Works, is a paid job and leadership development program for teens with incarcerated parents in San Francisco and the Bay Area. For more information, visit Project WHAT! is a member organization of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB),


  1. Good relations with a parent and son is very important for increasing a mental knowledge for a son. To-days we fill the most lacking for a relations father and son. Every crime held on a guilty people but if we analyses we see every guilty man do not get love their parents. So i suggest every man should be friendly their son.

  2. Dear Parent,

    KidzJet Adventures is a unique outdoor science program designed for your child to explore real life through exploration. Our program is designed by instructors who specialize in outdoor education. We try to make our programs different every week and each camp focuses on a particular theme. Please register now to get some specials discounts. Program details can be found on our website.

    Looking forward to take you child on an unforgettable adventure!


    KidzJet Adventures

  3. This article has good information about children. I suggest every parents should be friendly their son. Every son take love form their parents .Thank you so much for this information.

  4. The particular Old Catholic Nights remind me of the bags which usually once struck the wardrobes regarding commoners. For some reason, with the particular passage of energy they slowly and gradually faded, together with many elegant or conventional looking bagpacks using their

  5. The actual Old Catholic Times remind me of these bags that once strike the wardrobes associated with commoners. In some way, with the actual passage of your time they gradually faded, along with many fashionable or traditional looking bagpacks getting their

  6. Perhaps you have have already been the target of an injury caused through someone’s negligent measures? Then discovering apersonal damage lawyer is the next phase you have to take in the direction of receiving the actual financial payment you should

  7. Maybe you have have recently been the sufferer of an accident caused simply by someone’s negligent activities? Then obtaining apersonal injuries lawyer is the next thing you must take toward receiving the particular financial settlement you ought to

  8. What is the biopsychosocial nature of health? In this article, you will learn about the three major components that constitute the biopsychosocial nature of
    Law and legal activities are categorized into two wide areas. Most people do not understand the differences, but the 2 are quite distinct in explanation. Criminal law and civil law are 2 separate and broad entities of law that administer separate sets of the law and
    A shopping mall is a building or several buildings that form a shopping complex. In this shopping complex, there are several merchandisers represented, with interconnecting walk ways that allow the mall visitors to move from one shopping unit to the other
    Learning how to use keywords in your page titles can contribute a great deal towards improving your website search engine ranking. As a home business owner, encouraging the search engines to send you targeted traffic consistently should be your number one
    Why invest in travel insurance? Travel insurance is the backbone of your travel plan as you can not only be at peace but also can ask for compensation in case of any uncertain event occuring during your vacation. There are many benefits of investing in a suitable travel coverage
    Fashion week is a week-long event that is held to commemorate the fashion industry and the cogs that keep the wheel moving. Fashion designers, brands and houses display the latest and best of their collection via runway
    In order for any business to be successful, you must put ethics first and foremost. This means staying with what really works and staying away from what doesn't work. This isn't as easy as it seams as you will see from the article. However, it can be
    Of all the universal laws, the law of attraction is both the most fascinating and the most misunderstood. But in order to really understand the law of attraction, you first need to understand another of the universal laws, the law of
    Online shopping offers innumerable advantages one of which is to get access to a number of profitable deals on different items. Coupon codes, bargain shopping, comparing prices are some of the most preferred options for getting hold of what you need at low
    Everyone wants their homes to look good – specifically the interiors of their homes. There is always something to be desired in the way that the interior of our places appear, but the one thing that prevents us from getting the desired look is lack of money. Home improvement costs money, even more so when the goal is for it to look
    Wondering what prom hair style will suit you? Get professional advice on choosing a prom hair style to complete your look and make it
    How Your Firm Can Qualify And Access P O Trade finance;Information on how Canadian business owners and financial managers can access purchase order financing. How P O Finance works in the Canadian trade finance
    Many gamers who have invested hours in World of Warcraft's MMORPG have blown away the competition by using a simple tool that is incorporated into the game itself. In this article I'll explain why you'll want to get a leveling guide and follow the procedures they layout for you. If you are playing as a character if the Horde, you'll need a Horde leveling
    It is important that you have a creative impulse when you are thinking about making home improvements. Even if you do not think of yourself as a creative person, you can consult design resources and look at other homes to develop your creative
    There are many personal reasons that web visitors are returning to independent and personal travel agents, however, two reasons, are fairly common and can be found in major forums, blogs and message boards. The number one reason travelers are returning to travel agents is because of the horrify stories that are found

  9. Understanding behavioral and communication styles can help business to grow. Recognizing styles can increase productivity through more sales, and a more collaborative workforce. DiSC model and examples are provided to show how this
    A businessman has to shift his business to some one else either by his choice or due to life changes. A wise business man, therefore, plans carefully before transitioning out of his
    By living in harmony with the Universal Laws, you will attract, manifest, all the people, opportunities that you need to live the life you want. We are living in a world of abundance, there will always be more than enough for everybody. So start receiving yours today. And yes it can all start that quickly if you want to make the change. The choice has always been
    Home security is becoming a bigger issue today than ever. Part of the reason for this is homeowners make their homes such easy targets. According to national authorities, nearly 90% of all burglaries can be avoided and close to 40% of them occur through unlocked doors and
    If you have business travel to London, you need to read this article. In this article you will discover why the London riots created a greater business travel threat than a terrorist attack. We will examine the threat posed by the London riots and demonstrations, terrorist attacks and resulting travel delays, disruptions and
    Fashion has long ago ceased to be a mere trend – it has become a lifestyle. It has become something we cannot imagine not being part of our lives, a basic necessity akin to food and water. How and why fashion is such a huge influence is not a mystery, but a product of
    The term Business Process Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to making a company's workflow more efficient, more effective and more capable of adapting to the ever changing business environment. It also refers to how professionals study, change and monitor business processes for purposes of ensuring they run well and can be upgraded over
    Internet shopping is becoming popular amongst users in developed nations, as it is more efficient to 'shop on the Internet' than to go physically into the stores. The Internet provides a virtual environment where consumers' demands are met with supplies. Web shopping is very convenient and
    Every home needs adequate lighting for people to see in the rooms and the proper lighting is not only for general backlighting but also for task illumination. Adding that extra touch of elegance, adequate home illumination enhances not only the overall ambient of the house but also the comfortable and cozy feel in it. This is why home lighting should be always carefully added in order to achieve the best
    If you are looking for over 65s travel insurance then read on. There are many things that you should consider before taking the cheapest coverage. What's more, I consider, if you cannot afford travel insurance, then you cannot afford to

  10. How do you choose your furniture style when there are so many styles to choose? One way is to find a furniture style that you like. One that makes you feel comfortable, reflects your lifestyle and connects to you on an emotional level.makestyle
    Buying a business does not have to be a complicated endeavor when the proper process and methodology is followed. In this article, we outline eleven specific steps that should be adhered to when buying a business and bank financing is planned to be utilized.dobusiness
    Vanity Laws – the fad of creating laws to honor the memory of someone who has met a tragic end is ushering in a tragic end to democracy. It's time this nonsense was stopped.lawforum
    "Shopping and buying" in the layman's perspective, "Purchasing" in the marketing parlance all means to give money for something we get. To be short, it is trade. Barter was one system those days to exchange goods against goods where no money and calculation came into action.smartshopping
    Yes, it is true. You can make money online working from home and can actually make a lot of money if you work hard, stay focused and execute. You can build a home travel business and live the Internet lifestyle you always dreamed of by operating an online home travel business.abouttravel

  11. There can be an important thing you need to know concerning dog health supplements. Canines, in accordance, do not necessarily require virtually any supplement. Nature presents designed their particular body in order that they can cleanse their particular body and may even stay nutritious by ingesting what these individuals normally take in.

  12. A couple of popular manufacturers create diverse ham radio stations devices. A number of options are usually instead costly although some supply cost-effective prices just like Baofeng, for instance. This Oriental brand coincides regarding amateur radio stations as Huawei regarding smartphones.

  13. Would you have in fact thought of their wildest dreams that folks would have got advanced to obtain Touch Exhibit Technology. Some of you could be wondering just what that exactly is? Touchscreen Technology could possibly be defined inside of its least difficult form due to the fact technology which could sense along with feel touch in the display location.

  14. Residence design is certainly one from your hottest styles worldwide. It's also among the particular hot topics go over on net. These instances interior decoration has changed into a great profession to choose. It is certainly a many creative field intended for people to take into account.

  15. This article has good information about children. I suggest every parents should be friendly their son. Every son take love form their parents .Thank you so much for this information.
    thanks for sharing and good luck!

  16. You know if you are not on Instagram, you should be. I know you can't put text up, but just throw in a few pics and build an audience there. I think you'd find a ton of people who would be super interested in your blog here.

Leave a Reply