Tags Emily Harris
Tag: Emily Harris
At least 200 people from across San Mateo County packed the Board of Supervisors chambers this morning giving hours of testimony against $44 million in new jail spending slated for approval in the 2012-2013 budget. Chanting, “No new jails!” as they left the supervisors’ chambers, opponents of the proposed jail sent a clear message that a new jail is not welcome in the county.
Update: Gov. Brown signed AB 1270 Aug. 31, restoring the conditions that existed before 1996, when corrections officials cut down on reporters’ ability to report on prisons and prisoners. “With passage of AB 1270, legislators have voted for transparent and accountable reporting of the state’s 32 prisons and the more than 130,000 prisoners locked inside their walls.”
AB 1270, legislation that would increase transparency and media access to California’s notorious state prison system, is currently facing opposition in the Senate Appropriations Committee. CDCR is formally opposing the bill, citing cost as their main concern. There are two ways that you can help: Attend a Lobby Day on Aug. 9 or phone committee members from home before Aug. 13.
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
“We applaud the goal of reducing corrections spending; however, the way to do that isn’t to increase the corrections budget,” comments Debbie Reyes of the California Prison Moratorium Project. “Why are we increasing General Fund spending on Corrections by 10 percent while we’re cutting In Home Supportive Services (and) public colleges?” asks Reyes.
Monday the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Court Oversight and Improve the Prison System,” an attempt to overhaul and redirect a prison system that has been floundering for at least a decade.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced Tuesday that non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders who are female, pregnant or were primary caregivers prior to incarceration and have less than two years of their sentences left are eligible to serve the rest of their sentences in residential homes, residential substance-abuse treatment programs or transitional care facilities.
So far, the state’s plan for reducing the prison population relies heavily on simply shifting prisoners from state lockups to county jails and out-of-state rental space. But many other states are setting examples that California could follow.
CURB is sending a strong message from different parts of the state to Gov. Brown and the state legislature, calling for the state to take active steps to end its participation in the 40-year-old “war on drugs” and to prioritize vital social services over prison spending.
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed a previous court order requiring the state of California to reduce dramatically the number of people in its horribly overcrowded state prison system. California will have two years to reduce overcrowding by 46,000. “Public safety is a direct outcome of public education, affordable housing and living-wage jobs. These are goals we can achieve now if we take this opportunity to shrink prisons and jails,” declared Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of “Golden Gulag.”
The Budget for Humanity, recently released by Californians United for a Responsible Budget's (CURB) calls for drastic reductions to the prison population and an end to prison construction and to cuts in education, health and housing through more aggressive taxation of corporations and the wealthy.
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