On Tuesday, officials from the Sheriff’s will present a proposal to Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, seeking almost $25 million in state money to expand jail facilities and WE’RE GOING TO TRY TO STOP IT!
According to the proposal, 64 new beds at the Rountree facility would allow for the removal of temporary beds that now fill the Main Jail’s “day areas”, making programming once again possible in those spaces. But if there is another increase in the number of state prisoners sent to to the county jail, if there is an influx of local offenders, or if the jail population increases for any other reason, there is nothing to stop temporary beds from once again pushing programs out of the “day areas”. When this comes to pass, we will be left with a larger, but still overcrowded and still program-deficient jail. The last two decades of prison expansion in California show that adding more beds does not reduce overcrowding; that we are in this situation now is a testament to that fact. When we build beds, we eventually fill them, and then some.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Reach out to community members, organizations, people directly affected by the jail and prison system to educate and involve them in this issue. This proposal has been pushed through on short notice and hasn’t given the community much time to respond. Bring your friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones! We must prioritize building strong communities, not jails.