Invest in People Not Police and Prisons, Critical Resistance
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The People’s Report NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO The People’s Report NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO This report would not have been possible without the No New SF Jail Coalition in San Francisco, including every individual and organization who has worked with the coalition. We would also like to thank everyone who has opposed the new jail construction throughout California, and everyone who has invested time, resources, work, and thought into developing and implementing solutions to harm and violence that are participatory, functional and relevant. Research by Coral Feigin, Jamie Gerber, Jayden Donahue, and Jess Heaney Photos from CR-Oakland and No New SF Jail Coalition Written by Jayden Donahue and Jess Heaney Edited by Critical Resistance Oakland Graphic Design by Finley Coyl Cover image info: Design from CR-Oakland’s The Plan for a Safer Oakland (PSO) banner series. CR initiated a partnership with All Of Us Or None to work towards REAL safety in Oakland, 2005-2010. Cover Image by Scott Braley Infographic on page 4 by Hannah Klein Prints on pages 20 and 24 by SF Print Collective About Us Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope. Over the past two years, Critical Resistance-Oakland has been part of a broad-based No New San Francisco Jail Coalition fighting a proposed new jail at 850 Bryant. This coalition includes advocates for housing justice, formerly imprisoned people, transgender communities, architects and planners, children of imprisoned people, and concerned residents. We demand investment in real solutions to public safety and creation of opportunity for all San Franciscans, not more cages. No New SF Jail Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org | www.nonewsfjail.wordpress.com Critical Resistance 1904 Franklin St., Ste #504, Oakland, CA 94612 | 510.444.0484 email@example.com | www.criticalresistance.org 2 The People’s Report Table of Contents 3 4 6 15 18 21 Introduction What are the costs of a new jail in San Francisco? Human impact: Who is impacted by jail expansion? What are the alternatives to building a new jail? Get involved and join the fight! SF Jail Fight Platform Introduction In June 2013, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi went public with plans to build a new $290 million jail in SF. Immediately, community members and organizations sprung into action to oppose this hazardous scheme. Almost two years later, with the SF County Jail System at only 65% capacity, a declining county jail population, repeated stories of prisoner abuse at the hands of sheriff’s deputies, and abundant opportunities for life-affirming alternatives and pre-trail diversion, there is widespread and rapidly mounting opposition to the jail construction proposal. We oppose expanding the jail system because jails harmful to our communities and costly; they perpetuate San Francisco’s problems rather than solve them, and they waste valuable resources that could be invested in effective solutions. The reality of the SF County Jail System and the new jail proposal The reality is that San Francisco already has too much jail space. There are approximately 1,000 empty jail beds in county jails every single day in the SF, and the jail population has been declining steadily, remaining at 62-65% of its total jail capacity for almost four years. The county has discussed “leasing” empty jail beds to other counties, states, or the federal government to fill excess cages. In essence, San Francisco not only wants to build County infrastructure that systematically disempowers, disenfranchises and kills Black, poor and homeless Californians, but is also willing to use it as a way to generate income. The Sherriff’s department has stated that this building at 850 Bryant is decrepit and seismically unsound. Instead of continuing to invest in ineffective solutions that harm our communities, this is an opportunity for the city to CLOSE the jail at 850 Bryant, turn the building into humane city infrastructure, and invest resources in meaningful solutions. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 3 “$278 million dollars is more than what is currently being proposed by Mayor for the new affordable housing revenue initiative. New jails are bad in and of themselves, but even more absurd in the middle of the worse displacement crisis in San Francisco’s history.” 4 – James Tracy, Co-founder of the Eviction Defense Network and author of Dispatches Against Displacement: Field Notes From San Francisco’s Housing Wars The People’s Report “There are so many other uses for this money than spending it on a new jail. All the indications about whether a jail is needed or useful point towards that it would be a big waste of resources. This is the moment to be getting rid of 850 Bryant. There is no need for that jail to exist. I work in housing. That $278 million could be used much more appropriately to house people in a meaningful way. There are so many services that could benefit from that money. At the same time that they’re talking about the new jail—that is not needed—they are also talking about expanding the police force. On one hand you build a jail that you don’t need, and on the other you build a police to criminalize people to fill the jail.” –Fernando Marti, Co-Director at Council of Community Housing Organizations, artist and community architect NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 5 Human Impact Who is impacted? Jails perpetuate the systemic oppression of racism. The communities most impacted by the building of a new jail are communities of color, and more specifically the Black community in San Francisco. These communities are also the ones that are suffering the worst effects of San Francisco’s systematic and crushing pace of gentrification. According to the American Community Survey of the US Census, the Black population of San Francisco is 6%, a 7% drop since 1970. Conversely, the overall population of the city continues to rise, netting a nearly 10% gain from 2010 to 2013. Evictions, foreclosures, rent increase and development projects act hand in hand with policing and imprisonment to push out people of color in San Francisco, resulting in the loss of lives, networks, legacies, systems of social support and cultural traditions. Yet, while Black people make up such a small portion of the city population, they account for 56% of the jail population. 6 The People’s Report All of Us or None All of Us or None is a grassroots civil and human rights organization fighting for the rights of formerly- and currently- incarcerated people and our families. We are fighting against the discrimination that people face every day because of arrest or conviction history. The goal of All of Us or None is to strengthen the voices of people most affected by mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex. How does imprisonment affect your community? Imprisonment hurts our communities on so many levels. Rather than addressing the root cause of harm and violence, removing a person from a community continues to leave—if not exacerbate— tears, holes, and problems in many families and communities of color. Consequently, the underlying conditions remain the same in most critically-impacted communities, riddled by poverty, state-sponsored violence, and interpersonal violence, which all methodically feed imprisonment. Instead of diverting resources to families and communities, federal, state and local governments choose to perpetuate these irresponsible cycles by prioritizing imprisonment over people. Why do you oppose the new jail? We oppose the construction of new jails because they are simply inhumane, unhealthy, and do not solve our social, economic, and environmental problems. What do you want instead? We want all jails, prisons and detention centers to be converted into educational, health, and training centers for former prisoners, the homeless, and those living in the informal economy, staffed and run by former prisoners and those affected by imprisonment. We want 24-hour community centers instead of liquor stores. We want community gardens instead of police stations. We want at least 50% of all new development in cities and suburbs across America to be available to working- and low-income families. We want to put an end to the systemic discrimination facing us due to our conviction histories, and to be able to live our lives with dignity. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 7 Jails are not health care facilities People struggling with mental health or substance use issues are disproportionately criminalized. In fact, nationwide more than 50% of people in jail or prison have a history of symptoms of mental illness, compared with 6% in the general population. Sixty-five percent of imprisoned people experience substance use problems. The San Francisco Department of Public Health Jail Health Services Department reported in 2011 that throughout the 4 county jails, 75-80% of the population has substance use issues and 14% has significant mental health problems. Sheriff Mirkarimi claims that a new jail will focus more on rehabilitation and re-entry, yet we know that just 1 in 6 people in local jails with a mental health problem receives any treatment at all.1 Police contact, traumatic and violent confinement, and cycling through a punitive system can seriously exacerbate already critical health challenges and addiction issues. We know that imprisonment further damages mental health and that people with mental illness receive inadequate treatment or none at all behind bars, yet politicians use this to justify increased spending for mental health services in prisons and jails. Jails are harmful to all people, and a jail is no place to address health issues. Roma Guy, Tax Payers for Improving Public Safety: How is imprisonment a health issue in the SF Jail? We do know the mentally ill population in the jails in SF (state-wide and nationally) is significant. Even the Wall Street Journal has written that the incarcerated population nationally is becoming a “mental health asylum.” It is cheaper and more humane to seek placements in community services. What would you advocate for instead? My organization, Taxpayers for Public Safety, knows we need to advocate for: 1. Expansion of Pretrial diversion programs that would include adding a clinical social worker and perhaps a psychologist. 2. Intervention at point of “pre-arrest” that would divert some people to mental health assessment service for diagnosis and appropriate services without having to go to pretrial or jail. 3. Improved clinical assessments of those pretrial and sentenced. These recommendations will also include the combined factors of substance abuse and mental health. We may separate the two but we know that people use substance to mitigate their mental health illness. 1 “7 Reasons Why Mental Health Advocates Should Fight Prison and Jail Expansion,” Californians United for a Responsible Budget. http://curbprisonspending.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/CURB-Mental-Health-Fact-Sheet-edits-5.22-2.pdf 8 The People’s Report The San Francisco jail is a pauper’s prison Eighty-four percent of people in SF County Jails are pre-trial, meaning that they have not been convicted and are in jail because they simply cannot afford bail. Furthermore, we know that homeless people and poor people are criminalized simply for being poor. People are regularly arrested and jailed for so-called “quality of life crimes” or under sit-lie ordinances which make it difficult if not impossible to carry out daily human necessities such as sleeping or eating without being targeted by law enforcement. As of fiscal year 2013-14, 28% of San Francisco’s jail population experienced homelessness. Simple bail reform would make a new jail completely unnecessary. Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP): WRAP was created to expose and eliminate the root causes of civil and human rights abuses of people experiencing poverty and homelessness in our communities. How does imprisonment affect your community? Poverty is criminalized. Life sustaining activities like sitting, standing and sleeping are criminal offenses. Jails are a tool that ensure people get a clear message that they are not wanted. Every time you turn around they are searching your belongings, giving you tickets and not providing you with an attorney to deal with that ticket. Jail is a threat and a tool to let you know who the boss is. Why do you oppose the new jail? The criminalization system has become a poverty policing program. We keep building jails and prisons and further criminalizing the existence of poor people. What do you want instead? Don’t build new ones, empty the old ones and then tear them down. The best redirecting of resources currently going to criminalization would be toward residential mental health and substance treatment for poor people. Local governments should be advocating for federal funding [for affordable housing] to be restored and simultaneously they should be investing local resources to increase the amount of and access to residential treatment. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 9 SF Coalition on Homelessness: The Coalition on Homelessness is comprised of homeless people and allies who have been organizing together since 1987 to expand access to housing in one of the richest cities in the country, to protect the rights of the poorest people in our society, and to create real solutions to contemporary homelessness. How does imprisonment affect your community? As a policy response to the visibility of homelessness in SF, many members of our community have been incarcerated due to the accumulation of “quality of life” citations that they are unable to pay or take care of. On any given day, more than 25% of the jail population was homeless before their incarceration, and the vast majority will be homeless upon release. Imprisonment and criminalization more broadly cause and perpetuate homelessness and make it almost impossible for folks to exit homelessness once they are entrenched in the criminal justice system. A criminal record excludes you from affordable housing, traditional employment, and public benefits in California. Why do you oppose the new jail? Locking someone up or forcing them to interact with law enforcement to get their basic needs met is coercive and proven to increase trauma and community-police tensions and have not been proven to lead to decreasing or ending homelessness. What do you want instead? The resources required to construct, maintain, and police homeless people would much better be spent on increasing access to affordable housing, mental & medical healthcare, and holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs - investments proven to end homelessness. 10 The People’s Report Trans women A recent national survey of 6,450 individuals by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce examined issues of incarceration and law enforcement for trans and gender non-conforming populations. The study found that almost 1 in 6 trans people has been locked up at some point during their lives and that 1 in 2 Black trans people had been to prison or jail.2 Further, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that each year, 40% of trans prisoners experience sexual abuse by prison staff or other prisoners.3 “A new state-of-the-art facility is irrelevant if it’s filled with deputies who are abusive against us,” read an open letter to the SF Board of Supervisors from women currently housed in the system. “A jailhouse is a jailhouse is a jailhouse. It is never safe. They want to lock us up instead of helping people with our problems.”4 Discrimination and harassment by law enforcement officers based on sexual orientation and gender identity continues to be pervasive throughout the United States. For example, a 2014 report on a national survey of LGBT people and people living with HIV found that 73% of respondents had face-to-face contact with the police in the past five years. Police abuse, neglect and misconduct were consistently reported at higher frequencies by respondents of color and transgender and gender nonconforming respondents.5 Sheriff Mirkarimi’s transgender pod, specifically for trans women, in the proposed new jail is touted as a kinder, gentler place that would be more appropriate for the living reality of trans and gender non-conforming people and would address their issues as trans people. We know that jails and prisons can never be places that address the issues of trans people. While transgender specific pods or wings are put forth as reforms, they are really excuses for prison and jail expansion. 2 Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman, and Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011 http://www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf 3 “Federal Survey: 40% of Transgender Prisoners are Sexually Abused Each Year,” Advancing Transgender Equality, https:// transgenderequality.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/federal-survey-40-of-transgender-prisoners-are-sexually-abused-each-year/ 4 Meronek, Toshio. “No to Prison Industrial Complex: San Francisco’s Trans Community Responds to Brutal Murders,” Truthout, 2/25/2015. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29256-no-to-prison-industrial-complex-sf-trans-community-s-response-to-seven-brutal-transgender-murders-in-2015 5 Mallory, Christy, Amira Hasenbush, Brad Sears. Discrimination and Harassment by Law Enforcement Officeers in the LGBT Community. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute, 2015. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Discrimination-and-Harassment-in-Law-Enforcement-March-2015.pdf NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 11 Trans Gender Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP): TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender people—inside and outside of prison—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom. We work in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen us for the fight against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures. We seek to create a world rooted in self-determination, freedom of expression, and gender justice. How does imprisonment affect your community? Trans and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of color are disproportionately affected by policing and prisons. We are more likely to have contact with the cops and more likely to get locked up simply for being ourselves. These things make it harder for trans and gender non-conforming people to get meaningful employment and safe housing. Why do you oppose the new jail? History shows that if you build more cages, you will fill them. There is a high percentage of trans women of color held at 850 Bryant. A new jail will be expanding the city’s capacity to cage trans people instead of putting those resources towards alternatives. What do you want instead? We want accessible and trans-specific re-entry services. We want low-income housing in San Francisco that serves the needs of trans women of color. We want jobs and job training for formerly incarcerated trans women of color. We want the city to continue to expand trans specific health care and mental health care. 12 The People’s Report Jails tear families apart There are an estimated 17,993 children in SF with an imprisoned parent. The Pew Charitable Trusts found that children of imprisoned parents are much more likely to experience life-long struggles. For example, a family with an imprisoned parent on average earns 22% less the year after the imprisonment than it did the year before. In addition, children with parents in prison are significantly more likely to be expelled from school than others; 23% of students with jailed parents are expelled, compared to 4% for the general population.6 Being the child of an imprisoned parent is a deeply traumatic experience. Children with a parent in prison need counseling, therapy, and academic support from educators and schools. Community-based quality services such as health care, education services, mental health and substance abuse treatment are far more effective than imprisonment, let alone exponentially cheaper. Project WHAT!: Led by youth who have had a parent incarcerated, Project WHAT! raises awareness about children with incarcerated parents with the long-term goal of improving services and policies that affect these children. How does imprisonment affect your community? There are currently more than 2.7 million children in the United States with a parent who is incarcerated. 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. Why do you oppose the new jail? 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. What do you want instead? Alternatives to incarceration are less expensive and much more effective than putting people behind bars. 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. Having a parent incarcerated is a deeply traumatic experience. Spend money on keeping our parents out of jail, not locked up. 6 The Pew Charitable Trusts. Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010. http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2010/CollateralCosts1pdf.pdf NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 13 California Coalition of Women Prisoners: CCWP is a grassroots social justice organization, with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex (PIC). We see the struggle for racial and gender justice as central to dismantling the PIC and we prioritize the leadership of the people, families, and communities most impacted in building this movement. How does imprisonment affect your community? There is a CCWP community inside the San Francisco jail. Through our weekly Fired Up! program, we go into the jail and build connections and power with people in the women’s pod. At CCWP we believe that supporting and empowering people to survive and fight for their dignity and freedom is part of how to organize our way out of mass incarceration. So many of our members have lost their children and decades of their lives to traumatic and extreme prison sentences and extended jail time. Why do you oppose the new jail? If San Francisco’s only solution for the housing crisis and the widening wealth and poverty gap is to target and lock up poor people, people of color, youth, immigrants, and queer and transgender people, then jail is exactly where people will end up. What do you want instead? CCWP would like the city of SF to take jail funds and redirect them to subsidize extremely low-income housing for people deprived of housing and living homeless on the streets, and for people living in severe poverty because of extremely high rents across the city. We also believe these funds should be used to improve city mental health services, and to provide free education opportunities and job training for people coming out of prison and jail. “Jails do not teach people healthy living skills, safety skills, or employment skills. This is evidenced by the recidivism rates of incarcerated at 70% and significant reduced rates at 40-45% in pre-trial and pre-arrest programs. These SF diversion interventions have made SF the most under crowded jail system in the state of California. We don’t need a new SF Jail. Rather there is a need to continue expanding pre-arrest and pretrial diversion.” — Roma Guy, Taxpayers for Public Safety 14 The People’s Report What are the alternatives to building a new jail? We want, deserve, and demand to live in a city that prioritizes the health, wellbeing, and cultural and political life of all of San Francisco’s residents. This moment is a critical opportunity for San Francisco to invest in real solutions for its residents and working communities, rather than squandering valuable resources on cages that perpetuate serious harm, systemic disempowerment and violence. Simple reforms can be made now! Even Sherriff Ross Mirkarimi himself has said that he would not advocate building a new jail if the population was to drop below 1,000 people. Since 84% of people in SF County Jails are pre-trial— meaning that they have not been convicted and are in jail because they simply cannot afford bail— simple bail reform would make a new jail completely unnecessary, even by the system’s own logic. Further, we know that 75-80% of the population has substance use issues and 14% has significant mental health problems. San Francisco can design and implement diversion programs, such as intervention at point of “pre-arrest” to divert people to mental health services for appropriate care and services. In addition. viable community-based alternatives such as restorative justice and violence prevention programs can be more strongly resourced to deal with harm, conflict and trauma. Thankfully, real solutions to the problems that jails perpetuate already exist! For years, communities have been working hard to create practical and visionary resources to meet our needs. Instead of building another jail, San Francisco can seize this moment and invest in the life-affirming solutions that already exist. Imagine what $290 million could do if invested in the resources that address both daily needs and our long-term stability. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 15 Alternative investments to imprisonment Affordable housing Gentrification destabilizes communities, neighborhoods, and families by pushing poor and working class people out of their homes. The city needs to intervene in San Francisco’s gentrification crisis now! We need more well-maintained affordable housing with community programming, open space and significant tenant input in decision-making. We need more support and services for homeless people. Coalition on Homelessness, www.cohsf.org SF Tenants Rights Union, www.sftu.org Housing Rights Committee, www.hrcsf.org Eviction Defense Collaborative, www.evictiondefense.org Examples for street-based folks and emergency housing: Community Housing Partnership, www.chp-sf.org Tenderloin Housing Clinic, www.thclinic.org Chinatown Community Development Center, www.chinatowncdc.org Mercy Housing, www.mercyhousing.org Hospitality House, www.hospitalityhouse.org Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, www.mnhc.org Mental Health Services People struggling with mental health or substance use issues are disproportionately criminalized, and police contact, traumatic and violent confinement, and cycling through a punitive system can seriously exacerbate already critical health challenges and addiction issues. Jails are harmful to all people, and a jail is no place to address health issues; we must invest in quality, voluntary and accessible mental health services. Mental Health Association of SF, www.mentalhealthsf.org Westside Community Services, www.westside-health.org Lyon-Martin, www.lyon-martin.org 16 The People’s Report Re-entry support for people coming home from prison People with conviction records face tremendous barriers to successful reintegration. Aside from making sure all of the above are accessible to people coming home, we must also provide education opportunities and end discrimination against formerly imprisoned people in jobs, housing, and welfare. All of Us or None, www.prisonerswithchildren.org/our-projects/allofus-or-none TransGender Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), www.tgijp.org Alternative ways of dealing with harm, conflict, trauma Policing and imprisonment are violent practices that break up families and destabilize communities. We need to use and continue to develop responses to harm that help people flourish and learn without punishment and separation from their families and communities. Communities United Against Violence, www.cuav.org Youth leadership and violence prevention As stated above, policing and imprisonment break up families and destabilize communities. Communities prosper when they are healthy, stable, and people have the tools and resources necessary to build strong relationships. We need to invest in violence prevention which motivates and empowers young leaders and communities that are most affect by the prison industrial complex. Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD), www.cywd.org HOMEY (Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth), www.homey-sf.org Mission Girls, www.mncsf.org Project WHAT! www.communityworkswest.org/programs-2/project-what/ United Playaz, www.unitedplayaz.org Job training and placement programs Many people participate in criminalized street economies to contribute income to their families and meet their basic needs. We need training programs that prepare people for job applications and meaningful work; help them find stable, well-paying employment; and build community. Homeless Employment Collaborative www.cjcj.org/Direct-services/Homeless-Employment-Collaborative.html Hospitality House, www.hospitalityhouse.org/employment-resource-center/ NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 17 Get involved and stop the proposed new SF Jail! 1 Call these Board of Supervisors targets and tell them that you oppose San Francisco building a new jail. Urge them to invest in real alternatives, not more cages! Supervisor John Avalos District 11 (415) 554-6975 John.Avalos@sfgov.org Supervisor Eric Mar District 1 (415) 554-7410 Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org Supervisor Katy Tang District 4 (415) 554-7460 Katy.Tang@sfgov.org Supervisor Norman Yee District 7 (415) 554-6516 Norman.Yee@sfgov.org Supervisor David Campos District 9 (415) 554-5144 David.Campos@sfgov.org Supervisor London Breed District 5 (415) 554-7630 - Voice London.Breed@sfgov.org Supervisor Mark Farrell District 2 (415) 554-7752 Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org Supervisor Scott Wiener Supervisor 8 (415) 554-6968 Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org We have successfully organized the following Supervisor to oppose the new jail proposal. Let Jane Kim know that you support the stand that she is taking for a better San Francisco! Supervisor Jane Kim District 6 (415) 554-7970 Jane.Kim@sfgov.org 2 Share this report with your neighbors. 3 Bring this report to your organization or community group and get them to sign on to the fight. 4 Invite someone from the coalition to speak to your organization or community group. 5 Join our email list for updates on actions and opportunities to engage: firstname.lastname@example.org 18 The People’s Report Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB): CURB is a broad-based coalition of over 65 organizations seeking to CURB prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state. CURB seeks member organizations who are working on issues related to the prison industrial complex and organizations concerned about our state budget priorities. How does imprisonment affect your community? Our communities are overrepresented in California’s prisons and jails: poor, people of color, many of whom are not US citizens, many of whom have been incarcerated or have had a family member incarcerated. One of our core messages in SF and CA is that public funds that are now used to police, convict and incarcerate people should be going to provide housing, education, health care & employment to them. This jail proposal is just an extension of the continued prioritization of incarceration and criminalization that our communities face throughout the state. Why do you oppose the new jail? We are actively opposing and exposing the SF County Jail for what it is: a poorly run, brutally violent waste of taxpayer money. We know that this jail is just another structure that will not answer the problems that our communities are facing. What do you want instead? In SF and California, the public funds that are now used to police, convict and incarcerate people should be going to provide housing, education, health care & employment. People need mental health services, youth centers, supportive and affordable housing, and real opportunities in their communities; not cages. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 19 SF Jail Fight Platform Many San Francisco residents are facing hard times— particularly in communities of color. Many people in this city are struggling to find meaningful work, affordable housing, and access to good education and sustainable healthcare. It is concerning that more and more families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, some decision-makers are prioritizing spending on more jails, more police, more condos and luxury apartments, more Google buses, and more golf courses. We want, deserve, and demand to live in a city that prioritizes the health, wellbeing, and cultural and political life of all of San Francisco’s residents. WHAT we want, What we Need 1. Community-based solutions and alternatives to incarceration. Countless research, from university-based studies to reports from street-level service providers, find time and time again that approaches that use community-based solutions to harm and violence, have exponentially better outcomes. Outcomes that keep families intact, assist loved ones to overcome the hardships of addiction, reduce the likelihood of repeated harm, increase community stability—rather than locking people up. San Francisco has experienced a downward trend in jail population for several years now. If we restored funding to pretrial diversion programs we could divert enough prisoners to close CJ4 immediately. AB 109 funds could be utilized to implement community based programming, as Alameda County has done through the department of public health, Innovations In Reentry initiative. We could expand restorative justice practices many community groups are already practicing throughout the San Francisco bay area. Many solutions already are in practice, and should be prioritized over incarceration, which we know has failed not only our community, but our nation. 2. INCREASED FUNDING FOR RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAMS & OUTPATIENT MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT SERVICEs. Prioritizing mental health and treatment should be a top priority for any county that values community stability, health, and wellbeing. Funding treatment programs not only prevents people from doing time to begin with, but also helps those coming home transition more successfully back in to the community. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 21 3. HEALTH CARE FOR ALL SAN FRANCISCANS. Regular and preventive care for people of all ages and backgrounds has been proven to have a positive effect on all aspects of community stability and sustainability. People coming home from jail and prison don’t have health insurance, let alone adequate health care. Increase funding for programs such as Transitions Clinic that serve people coming home from prison. Make sure everyone coming out of jail and prison, regardless of their migrant status, know they can apply for Healthy San Francisco health insurance and get linked to medical care. 4. STOP ALL DEPORTATIONS. Tearing apart families, depriving them of their means of survival, and saddling them with legal debt in their efforts to save their family is destructive and creates massive insecurity, trauma and harm. This is the opposite of public safety. Protect all San Francisco families and workers! 5. FULLY FUNDED EDUCATION INCLUDING CITY COLLEGE. Accessible and affordable higher education increases opportunities for our residents while contributing to a more cohesive and vibrant community. Fully prepare all San Francisco youth for a healthy future, and keep programs that serve formally incarcerated San Franciscans available and expand them to meet the needs of all people coming home from jail and prison. 6. JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS & LIVING WAGE JOBS FOR ALL SAN FRANCISCO WORKERS, INCLUDING UNDOCUMENTED WORKERs. Access to meaningful work and job training, education and healthcare, should be a core value and top funding priority for any city or county that values community stability, health, and wellbeing. People with records need vocational programs that address the specific obstacles they face in finding employment. San Francisco is one of the first cities to pass Ban the Box legislation, but we must do more to change attitudes of discrimination in the hiring of people with records. 22 The People’s Report 7. MORE FUNDING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, & AN END TO EVICTIONS. A stable community is built on an absolute right to affordable and dignified housing for all residents. In most countries in the world, this is recognized as a fundamental Human Right. By taking a stand against evictions and the violence of gentrification, this county will show that it prioritizes residents’ needs over corporate development and profit. We need affordable safe housing for all San Franciscans, including supported, re-entry housing and rental subsidies to meet the needs of all people coming home from jail and prison. We must put an end to practices of discrimination against people with criminal convictions seeking housing. 8. FREE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMMING FOR EVERY CHILD & YOUTH. A vibrant educational and cultural life should extend from the classroom into the community, providing our youth with empowering and safe places to grow; and develop into strong community members and leaders. To achieve these goals programs must be culturally affirming, and address the need for multilingual programming. After school programing invests much needed resources in to the communities and the children that are most underserved, and the most vulnerable to police and other forms of violence. 9. EXPAND COMMUNITY PARKS AND GARDENS FOR ALL SAN FRANCISCANS. Beyond the basic needs every person has an irrefutable right to, residents also deserve to have beautiful and life-affirming open space in their communities—free and accessible to all. Parks, gardens and plazas are spaces for healthy social interaction and community restoration. Through education for youth and adults alike, these spaces facilitate healing and community cooperation for people impacted by harm. NO NEW JAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO 23