Over the last few years, there has been a community-wide fight led by JusticeLA against any expansion of jails in Los Angeles. Here at NoNewSFJail, we are inspired by their work and overjoyed that the time, resources, and energy that was spent to take a momentous stand against the Prison Industrial Complex resulted in a resounding win. We hope to carry that momentum into our own campaign to close Jail #4 at 850 Bryant!
Below is the email that was sent out detailing Justice LA’s work.
We made history….Again!
Today, Justice LA and many other organizations and community members accomplished what we were told was an impossible feat. For nearly a decade, the specter of a massive $3.5 billion jail plan loomed over the people of Los Angeles. We resisted the creation of more cages, we reclaimed the calls for public safety, we reimagined our county with community-based care, and we won. In February of this year, we successfully defeated the women’s jail plan, and today, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of cancelling the contract with McCarthy to build a mental health jail!
This victory is celebrated on the shoulders of community members on the front lines of state violence – the youth targeted by gang injunctions in our neighborhoods, the mothers that buried their children as a result of sheriff violence, the families separated because they could not afford bail. Through our collective work, we have not only stopped two jails in our county, we have redirected the county away from punitive systems and towards community reinvestment.
But our organizing is not over! The sheriff’s department made it clear today that they will fight progress every step of the way. It is up to us to ensure the implementation of a new vision for Los Angeles.
So what’s next?
- Ensuring the reinvestment of the nearly $1 billion that would have been used for jail construction.
- Fighting for robust pretrial reform that does not replace money bail with risk assessment instruments nor an expansion of electronic monitoring in Los Angeles
- Continuing to build on the Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup’s interim report and ensure that the final report reflects the will of the community.
- Building mechanisms to hold the sheriff’s department, probation department and the district attorney accountable and strip power from their departments.
- Eliminating the attacks of police and law enforcement on LA’s communities of color.
Our work towards decarceration and community reinvestment in LA County is not over. #JusticeLA will continue to lead on the implementation of the community-based system of care we envisioned. Congratulations to our coalition members and thank you to our partners and allies for standing so strong with us today! We encourage everyone to stay plugged in and stay activated!