No More Jails! Statewide Mobilization to Sacramento

Movers and Shakers,
As we wrap up the holiday weekend and prepare for an abundant new year, Sin Barras is looking forward to ending 2013 with a big bang! Our statewide coalition, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), is mobilizing to California’s Board & State Community Corrections Board Hearing this Wednesday December 4th to oppose jail expansion and the governor’s priorities and we need all hands on deck.


All About That Movement Building!

November is on the horizon and we wanted to take a minute to keep everyone in the know of what’s ahead. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to pass the Sherrif’s jail proposal last week and we encourage everyone to help us brainstorm our next step. In other words.. we need all the creativity, community, and organizing energy we can get!
We also just ordered a button-maker to make abolition jewels and will have a craft party in the very near future. 
Sunday, November 3: CISPES Advocacy Workshop (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) 11-2pm Beach Flats Community Center
This workshop is centered around urging the US government to support Free & Fair elections in El Salvador. The workshop will discuss techniques on approaching politicians, and how to be strategic about having the Obama administration publicly state its neutrality in the electoral process. (We were invited to join because our work is relevant.)
Thursday, November 7: A Community Discussion to Abolish Prisons // 6:30-8:30pm @ Resource Center For Non-Violence (612 Ocean St. Santa Cruz)
The Resource Center for Nonviolence and Sin Barras is co-programming a community discussion on abolition! Steve Martinot (The Need to Abolish the Prison System: An Ethical Indictment) and Dianne Durham will present a multi-faceted ethical argument for abolition and engage the audience in discussion.


Friday May 10th – No More Jails: Community Forum to Build Coalitions


Join Sin Barras and allies to continue the discussion about jails and policing in Santa Cruz and develop grassroots community power. The meeting is a follow-up to the April 25th forum, attendance to the previous forum is not required. All are welcome! We invite everyone who has a story to share or wants to learn more about the prison system and how to build a movement against it. Childcare and spanish interpreters will be present.

Let’s get organized!

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 12.36.52 PM
Mon, May 6, 6pm – 8pm
Resource Center for Nonviolence – 612 Ocean St. Santa Cruz, CA


California to shed 9,000 more prisoners, starting this week.

“The state might shorten sentences by increasing good time credits for inmates. Or put prisoners with less than two years left to serve under house arrest, with GPS monitoring devices. Other options include sending prisoners out of state, or releasing inmates early.”


Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California must submit, and begin implementing, a plan to reduce the state’s prison population by 9,000 inmates this week.

This is not a drill.  That’s the message a high-ranking corrections official delivered to state lawmakers ahead of this Thursday’s deadline to comply with a court order to shed 9,000 inmates from California prisons.

Martin Hoshino, the Acting Undersecretary of Corrections, said the Brown Administration must make the cuts by the end of the year. And, he said, “The state is to begin implementing the plan as soon as it is submitted.”

The state might shorten sentences by increasing good time credits for inmates. Or put prisoners with less than two years left to serve under house arrest, with GPS monitoring devices. Other options include sending prisoners out of state, or releasing inmates early.

Hoshino told members of the Senate Public Safety Committee that the court order also requires state officials to report their progress every month — and report anyone who slows it down.

“In many places in the order, it also references that those who fail to act to comply will essentially be held in contempt,” said Hoshinio, adding, “And it’s written in there more times than I care to read.”

In January, California officials asked the panel of federal judges to vacate or modify a prisoner reduction order the court issued in 2006.

At the time, prisons were packed with nearly double the number of inmates they were designed to hold.  Judges found that overcrowding thwarted efforts to improve prison healthcare deemed so poor that one inmate a week was dying from neglect. The judges ordered the state to fix the problem.

California’s prisons hold 30,000 fewer inmates today, and officials insist prisoners now get the treatment they need.

Governor Brown vowed to appeal the court order to the U.S. Supreme Court. But unless the nation’s highest court grants an emergency stay, California must comply with the order.

California’s Prison Crisis is Now a Constitutional Crisis

By Andrew Cohen

Brown speaks at a news conference to announce the Public Employee Pension Reform Act of 2012 at Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Something extraordinary is happening in California. A long-running story about the atrocious conditions in the state’s prisons has expanded in the past two weeks into a story about state sovereignty, the doctrine of interposition, and about the ability and will of the nation’s judges to oversee the enforcement of the lawful orders they issue. The California prison crisis, in other words, has become an existential crisis over federal and state power.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is openly defying a series of federal orders requiring state officials to reduce California’s prison population to comply with the requirements of the Eighth Amendment. Instead of obeying these orders, which were directly approved by the Supreme Court, the governor instead has made a series of false and inflammatory statements about the law, the courts, the inmate problem and California’s efforts so far to solve it.