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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons
Rally in Santa Cruz Against Jail Expansion Locally and Across California
On January 16, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) officially recommended Santa Cruz County to receive $25 million it requested for jail expansion at Rountree Detention Center in Watsonville. Now, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has 90 days to approve or reject the jail expansion proposal from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
Sin Barras, an organization that has been leading the campaign to fight jail expansion locally, has a counter-proposal: Rather than expand and reopen unused jail facilities, our county needs to truly invest in our community by funding employment, affordable housing, and mental health & drug treatment.
In response to the BSCC's January 16 recommendation, Sin Barras and other community members demonstrated later that day at the Clock Tower in downtown Santa Cruz to say, "NO MORE MONEY FOR JAILS!"
[ Photo: Demonstrators hold signs at the Clock Tower in downtown Santa Cruz to protest jail expansion.]
The Sheriff’s Office, which operates the county’s adult jail facilities, say the grant money from the state would be used to relieve the overcrowded Main Jail in Santa Cruz, and to expand upon education and job training programs offered at the jail.
In a Santa Cruz Anti-Jail Expansion Info Sheet handed out by Sin Barras during the demonstration, the group answers some important and common questions.
But doesn't this proposal provide better programming, public safety and family reunification?
All jails are unsafe: imprisonment breaks up families and communities, causes people to lose their jobs and homes, and exacerbates mental and physical health issues.For much more information on the proposals for and against jail expansion, including video and photo coverage of the January 16 demonstration, please visit:
111 Errett Circle
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
African-Americans make up only about 1.8% of Santa Cruz County’s total population, but a full 9% of our jail population. Santa Cruz suffers from a serious lack in culturally appropriate, services for its black community, both inside the jail and out.
Using criminalization as our response to poverty and homelessness has created this appalling situation: it is time to change the county's approach.