Coalitions Working To Close California Prisons Announce Press Conference In Response To May Revise Budget
Advocates for criminal legal reform and increased community investment will mobilize on 5/11 to demand at least 8 more prison closures by 2025
United coalitions of community leaders plan to gather Wednesday, May 11th at 9am for a press conference and rally at the California State Capitol (West Steps; 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814) in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revise Budget.
Governor Newsom’s January 2022-23 proposed budget included over $18.6 billion of state funding for corrections spending. Advocates from the campaign to #CloseCAPrisons are pushing lawmakers to reduce spending on incarceration by closing at least 8 more prisons by 2025, and increase investments in priorities like green jobs and community-based systems of care.
The state’s own nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Officeproduced a report in November of 2020 that outlined at least $1.5 Billion annually in savings if California committed to closing five prisons by 2025, and has stated that California continues to be in a position to achieve this projection. Last year, CURB––a coalition of more than 80 organizations working to reduce wasteful incarceration spending––released a roadmap to close at least 10 prisons across the state.
Proposals for billions of dollars in infrastructure prison spending from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) faced scrutiny in March at the California Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5 hearings, which cited the department’s failure to produce a substantive long-term infrastructure plan that is responsive to the Legislature’s years-in-waiting request. “We see the prison population declining, but we see funding increasing. We don’t have faith that we’re spending dollars appropriately,” stated Assembly Sub 5 Chair Cristina Garcia (D-58th District).
“It’s time for Governor Gavin Newsom and elected officials to do what’s right and commit to a smart plan to close prisons in California,” said Amber-Rose Howard, Executive Director of CURB. “A serious plan for prison closure must include deep investments in prison towns to move them toward new, healthy economies, and center investments in healthcare, education, reentry services, and housing for justice impacted families.”