Maintained by Bernard Davis
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 504
Oakland , CA 94612
#1 in Prison Spending
#48 in Education Spending
73 percent recidivism rate
Very little rehabilitation programming
Small time criminals – get Advanced training in Prison – Paroled in 2 years with a Bachelors in Criminal Technology
United States builds Prisons to pack convicts in together like Sardines.
Working is prohibited by Law, “Sorry we can’t hire felons”
Many Victims suffer the rest of their lives
We support a New Law that Reforms Prisons from the ground up to reverse all of the
Performance measures above.
Prisons will pay for themselves
Education will get all of the Tax funds that used to go to Prisons
Recidivism Rates will drop to Zero, because every parolee will be will trained in a rewarding career.
100% of Prison life will be Career Oriented (Rehabilitation will be ongoing for life, AA model)
Prisoners will not interact with one another – Period. Sleeping, dining, exercise, work areas will designed for single inmates only. Unlimited access will be provided to Working Professionals who are interacting with prisons for career, education, counseling, etc.
All New Prison building/ remodeling will accommodate isolation from fellow criminals, to improve productivity & social environment.
Working to be required by Law. State is required to provide work, career training, lifelong placement professional support, education.
40% of Inmates earnings go to Room & Board, 40% to Victims & Families restorative justice, 20% of inmates earnings to IRA account.
Last year, the California Legislature and Governor passed the largest prison
expansion in history: almost $12 billion in principal and interest over the
program's life. And that doesn't include operating expenses for the new prisons,
which will exceed $1 billion every year. These billions come straight out of
schools, health care, higher education, and other state services. The Sacramento
Bee summed up the situation: "Prisons are sucking the life out of higher
education in this state."
Applauds Overcrowding Decision, Calls On State to Cancel AB 900
Proposed Reductions in Prison Population to Save California Billions
File Lawsuit to Prevent Prison Construction & Release Expert Report Exposing
True Cost of AB 900
open prisons and close schools?
New Shadow Commission Will Form to Urge State to CURB
Sacramento, CA: Responding to the Governor's budget
directive to create a commission to close California prisons, a coalition of
California groups, Californians United for A Responsible Budget (CURB), will be
naming a “shadow commission” to highlight issues not raised by the CDC-led
group, including the impact of prisons on families, the conditions of
institutions, and how the state could close at least three prisons and cancel
the opening of Delano II.
“If the Governor was sincere in his desire to ‘blow up
boxes,' rather than simply ‘move them around', then he needs to hear from
people that have been in those prisons, their families, and people who have
studied what the state needs to do to build safe communities,” says CURB
spokesperson Rose Braz.
“Instead of hearing from Californians, who have said in
poll after poll they want cuts to prisons, the governor will be hearing from
those who built up the very system they are now charged with reducing,”
Through minor parole reforms and increased access to
educational programs passed by the legislature last year, the CDC projects the
state's prison population will decline by 15,000 by mid-year 2005. Since the
average California prison holds 4,750 people, at least three prisons could be
closed given the expected decline in the prison population, and Delano II's
scheduled opening could be canceled. If other small reforms were enacted, such
as those suggested by a recent Little Hoover Commission report on parole, the
state could save hundreds of millions of dollars more, reduce the prison
population further, and close additional prisons.
The Governor's budget recognizes, “While population
reductions provide substantial savings on the margin, entire institution
closures nearly double the potential savings.” The average California prison
costs $98 million to operate each year.
“We are encouraged by the Governor's willingness to study
prison closures, but if he truly wants ‘action, action, action,' he is going
to have to hear from more than the people who built and are invested in this
$5.3 billion prison system,' says Sitara Nieves of CURB.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 Mary Sutton 310.709.8602
Bill to propel $12 billion prison construction
project sent to Governor with budget package
While Governor and legislature propose massive cuts to
education and 2,000 public
works projects are on hold, prison expansion is pushed
While the Governor and the legislature propose massive cuts
to education, delays or
cancellation of 2,000 public works projects including voter
approved projects to retrofit
schools—among the budget bills sent to the Governor was a
bill to fix problems with
AB900, the largest prison construction plan in history.
“The Governor and our legislature were supposed to be
reducing California’s budget
deficit. Instead, the legislature passed ABX1-10 -- clean
up language necessary to
implement 2007’s massive prison construction plan,”
says Debbie Reyes of the
California Prison Moratorium Project, members of the
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB).
AB900 was passed in the early hours of the morning on April
26, 2007 without voter
approval and with no public hearings. “As we cancel or
delay voter approved projects to
retrofit schools, the legislature is moving forward with
$12 billion worth of new prison
and jail beds -- without voter approval and without money
to build or operate those new
beds,” says Geri Silva of CURB member Families to Amend
Using lease revenue bonds, AB900 would add up to 53,000 new
prison and jail beds and
at least $1.6 billion per year in operating costs to
California’s $10 billion prison budget.
The cost to taxpayers for construction and debt service on
the high yield bonds is
projected to reach $12 billion. Though the bill suggests
that there will be rehabilitation
programs created in conjunction with the new prison beds,
AB900 does not include
money for staff, general operating let alone new programs.
Late last year, the Pooled Money Investment Board put 2,000
public works projects on
hold because the state’s fiscal disaster makes it
impossible to sell bonds. California's
credit rating is now the lowest in the nation. “If we are
choosing among public works
projects, a positive vision for California’s future and
children dictates that we preserve
funding for schools and cancel projects for more prison
beds,” says Manuel La Fontaine
II of All of Us or None, also members of CURB.
“So far, no AB900 beds have been built. No bonds have
been sold. And we face an
historic budget crisis. These facts, along with the
Governor’s veto of the budget bills,
gives the legislature yet another chance to do the right
thing,” says Mary Sutton of
Critical Resistance Los Angeles, members of CURB. “We
must reduce our reliance on
prisons by refusing to pass clean up language for AB900 and
canceling the project
Initial AB900 projects have faced organized opposition from
communities across the
state. The residents of the rural town of Madison in Yolo
Country filed a lawsuit stating
the County supervisors violated state and local laws when
they voted for the 15 acre
construction project ignoring the environmental impacts.
“The proposed Madison site is
in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone and an
agricultural preserve. It also has a
complete lack of water, sewer, electrical and gas
infrastructure,” says Robyn Rominger of
Save Rural Yolo County.
To address New York’s budget crisis, their Governor is
proposing closing four prisons.
And, the federal court currently hearing the case on prison
overcrowding is poised to
order a reduction in the number of people in prison in
Expanding prison capacity will also impact any attempts to
reduce the number of people
in prison. “We appreciate that the legislature did pass
some changes to parole and
corrections policies that should reduce the number of
people in California’s prisons, but
cancelling new prison construction needs to be among those
changes,” says Carol
Strickman of CURB member Legal Services for Prisoners with
teaches us if you build more beds, you fill those beds.”
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