Campaign Updates

No more Jails! No More Cops!

This past week, the No New SF Jail Coalition ramped up resistance to imprisonment and policing in San Francisco. On Monday, over 100 community members rallied at City Hall to demand the closure of the jail in the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St, while also opposing the Board of Supervisors’ and Mayor’s approval to expand the San Francisco Police Department by 200 new positions. On Wednesday, we mobilized to a city hearing to give public testimony to make our demands heard.

Despite a city-wide consensus that the Hall of Justice is decrepit and seismically unsound, along with a unanimous commitment from the Board of Supervisors to close the onsite jail, city officials have taken few steps toward this commitment. The Coalition is urging the Board to take urgent action to fulfill its promise to close 850 Bryant without reopening or constructing new jails, especially due to the imminent risk that imprisoned people face in the case of an earthquake.

During the rally, a banner was raised up to Mayor Breed’s window on the second floor of city hall to demand no more police hires or jails in San Francisco while protest participants shouted out what they’d like to see instead of cops and jails.

Coalition member Ms. Janetta Johnson of TGI Justice Project spoke about the urgent need for more community resources and alternatives to policing and imprisonment that the city should invest in, rather than wasting money on hiring more police officers. Other representatives from the Idriss Stelley Foundation and the Do No Harm Collective spoke about the first hand experiences of imprisoned people and advocated for appropriate solutions to providing mental health resources within the community rather than locking people up, which will inevitably result in the neglect of people’s health. Juliana Morris with Do No Harm Collective said, “We see the current policing and incarceration in our communities as a major health crisis and believe strongly that resources need to be redirected to support housing, community programs, mental health services and other health services.”

During Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee hearing, we heard from the Workgroup to Re-envision the Jail Replacement Project, an ad hoc workgroup that was convened by the Board to develop alternatives to jail construction. City departments and other presenters described how the jail population hasn’t decreased but has even increased slightly in the last two years. While Supervisors were appropriately baffled not seeing a reduction in the number of people in custody, we know that this is the inevitable result of increased policing rather than investments in housing and supportive resources.

Sheriff Vicki Hennessy continues to argue that her only options will soon be to either use $9 million to reopen the closed County Jail 6 at San Bruno or to lease bed space in Alameda County’s Santa Rita jail for an estimated 10-15 years until a new jail can be built on the site of the Hall of Justice. These are not viable options for our communities and directly contradict city commitments to not to build a new jail.

Organizers and anti-jail advocates provided testimony that increased policing and criminalization will only result in more people in jail and emphasized that even seismically safe jails aren’t safe. Instead of focusing solely on numbers, organizers reminded city officials that jails are caging poor, predominately Black and Brown people and demanded that the public safety committee focus on life affirming resources that actually strengthen our communities, such as housing and mental health care. Until we win, will continue to raise our demands:

  • Close 850 Bryant Now
  • Oppose any new jail renovation or construction
  • Invest in cooperative housing and neighborhood based services
  • Support transformative justice practices instead of imprisonment
  • Reverse the increased size of police force

Action Alert: Monday Oct 22 2018

Close 850 Bryant! No New Cops! No New Jails!

The No New SF Jail Coalition continues to steadily fight jail construction while also pressing for a closure of the jail at 850 Bryant. Despite the Board of Supervisors commitment to close 850 Bryant without building a new jail, we have seen no progress to that effect. In fact, jail population numbers continue to rise, particularly with an increase in police attacks on houseless people. Mayor Breed’s approval of 200 new police hires endangers community safety as gentrification and imprisonment in San Francisco are on the rise. 

Rally and Action – Spread the word on Facebook!!
Monday October 22nd, 2018 4pm-6pm
San Francisco City Hall, Polk Street Side
Civic Center Plaza

Join our Art Build on Saturday October 20th from 4-6pm
at SOMCAN – 1100 Howard Street, SF (check FB action page for details)

Endorsed by: No New SF Jail Coalition, ANSWER Coalition, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Coleman Advocates for Youth, Critical Resistance Oakland, Do No Harm Collective, Idriss Stelley Foundation, Gay Shame, Mujeras Unidas y Activas, Senior and Disability Action, SF DSA Justice Committee, Survived and Punished, and TGI Justice Project.

To endorse, email nosfjail@curbprisonspending.org

October 24th: Testify at the Board of Supervisors

EVENT INFO ON FACEBOOKThe rally on Oct 22nd is building momentum for a Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee hearing on October 24th at 10am. The hearing is to discuss progress on the recommendations made last year by the Board of Supervisor’s empowered Workgroup to Re-envision the Jail Replacement Project. While this workgroup proposed dozens of policy and programmatic solutions as well as investments to reduce jail population there has been little accountability or funding for implementation.

Turn out to the Board of Supervisors to support coalition demands:

  • Close 850 Bryant Now
  • Invest in cooperative housing and neighborhood based services
  • Support transformative justice practices instead of imprisonment
  • Reverse the increased size of police force

Talking points and additional information about the coalition demands will be available at the hearing.

Videos from Abolish PIC Summit April 2018

Organizing and Advocacy with Imprisoned People

Panel Members: Woods Ervin (Transgender, Genderqueer and Intersex Justice Project), Julia Arroyo (Young Women’s Freedom Center), Alisha Coleman (FiredUp), Elisa Baier (Garden Program at SF Jail)

Moderator: Diana Block (California Coalition for Women Prisoners)

Different groups speak on organizing and working with people inside SF jail, including the Fired Up empowerment group and a gardening project in the women’s pod. The breakout group covers the importance of organizing with people inside, strategies to best advocate for and with people in jail or prison, and the relevance of this work in San Francisco, especially as it relates to closing 850 Bryant jail.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing Liberatory Practices in Dismantling the PIC

Panel Members: Jose Bernal (Hospitality House), Liz Kroboth (Do No Harm), Gloria Esteva-Martinez (Causa Justa)

Moderator: Woods Ervin (Transgender, Genderqueer, Intersex Justice Project)

The panel shares its organizing efforts in the push to close the SF jail, including the Transgender, Genderqueer, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Causa Justa and health care groups recognizing policing as a public harm. The discussion covers the importance of unifying with other organizations through protection/solidarity and empowering communities through investing in them.

 

Thanks for attending “Joining Forces against Jails and Policing in SF”

Stronger Together! Over 150 members of San Francisco campaigns, projects, and coalitions came together on April 7th, 2018 to build connections to address interlocking impacts of imprisonment, policing, surveillance, courts, and prosecution. Presenters shared information about advocating and organizing with people in jail, the history of policing, participatory defense and bail reform strategies, and tips for talking to the media. The day helped to emphasize the possibility of our strength as a united force and we look forward to building on that momentum.

Thank you again to all of our presenters, tablers, sponsoring organizations, and all those who participated. Together we can fight the increased criminalization, imprisonment, and displacement of Black and Brown people of San Francisco. Look out for more info that came out of the “organizing across campaigns” breakout that we will be sharing in the coming weeks. Proposed next steps include writing a joint community platform against the prison industrial complex, continuing to hold meetings across campaigns, and maintaining communications for sharing events and actions.

Check out a quick summary of the day published by Street Sheet and this short video highlighting community resources shared that day. Please continue to share upcoming actions fighting jails and policing in SF on the summit facebook page.

summit circle

Stay in Touch with other Campaigns: 

End the Gang Injunctions Coalition – endtheinjunctions@gmail.com
#NoJusticeNoDeal
Justice 4 Luis – justice4luis@gmail.com
Do No Harm Coalition (& Justice Study) – admin@donoharmcoalition.org

Thanks to Everyone who made this Event Happen: 

Young Women’s Freedom CenterCausa Justa / Just CauseColeman Advocates for Youth and ChildrenLegal Services for Prisoners with ChildrenCommunity United Against ViolenceCritical Resistance OaklandTGI Justice ProjectCalifornia Coalition for Women Prisoners, SF Taxpayers for Public Safety, Gay ShameCCSF Solidarity CommitteeAdvancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, HOMEYOakland Power ProjectsAmerican Friends Service CommitteePublic Bank SF CoalitionStudents for Sensible Drug PolicySURJ SFDSA – Justice CommitteeANSWER CoalitionDrug Policy Alliance

panel

Program for “Joining Forces Against Policing and Jails in SF”

NewSummitFlyer

Registration: [9:45 – 10:15am]

Intro: What we’re up against [10:15 – 10:30am]

Panel & Discussion: Current campaigns fighting policing, jails, and criminalization in SF [10:30 – 12:00pm]

Hear from groups organizing to end gang injunctions, close 850 Bryant jail, fight the criminalization of migrants, and ensure justice for SFPD murders. In connecting these campaigns and strategies, we will begin to build collective vision and demands.

Honoring community members killed by SFPD [12pm]

Lunch [12:20 – 12:55pm]

During lunch, there will be time to share your story and explore the work and resources of different groups.

Breakouts: Workshops to share tactics & strategize to win [1:00 – 2:30pm]

  • Participatory Defense – Young Women’s Freedom Center and SV Debug
  • Media Tactics & Language to Fight the PIC – Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Critical Resistance
  • Abolition of Policing & History of SFPD – Critical Resistance Oakland and Adriana Camarena w/ Justice 4 Luis Gongora Pat
  • Sharing our strategies and working together across campaigns – you are encouraged to send a rep from your campaign to this roundtable
  • Organizing and Advocacy with Imprisoned People – Fired Up, a project of California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Young Women’s Freedom Center, TGI Justice Project, and SF jail gardening project.

Closeout: Next steps [2:30 – 3:00pm]

Upcoming actions, how to get involved and continue to build together

Mayan War Room in Honor of Luís Góngora Pat [6:30 – 9pm]

After the summit, you are invited to attend: A Fundraiser and Art & Revolution exhibit of his family’s struggle for justice, including original embroidered protest artwork by Luis’s widow and daughter from Yucatan. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts: 2868 Mission St, San Francisco

**Note: We are working in coordination with Justice for Luis Gongora which is commemorating the 2nd anniversary of his killing by SFPD on April 7th. There will be Mayan ceremony and commemoration of his life led by his family, at his altar @ Shotwell and 19th Street. We encourage you to either join us at the Summit for our start time at 10am or respectfully join Luis’ family in their ceremony before coming to the Summit. Luis’ family, friends, and those organizing his campaign will honor him during the Summit as well.**

County Jail 2: An Overview of the Sheriff’s 2017 Proposal

April 19, 2017

Sheriff Vicki Hennessy is applying for $70 million from the state for a jail renovation that will cost San Francisco over $25 million dollars. This will re-entrench the city’s racist, anti-poor and anti-homeless jail system, while opening the door for years of expansion.

Increase in bed count: Sheriff Vicki Hennessy plans to renovate an area of County Jail 2 that has been closed for years (Pod D, Upper), resulting in an expansion of jail capacity by 24 people.

Increase in isolation and surveillance: The open dormitories in County Jail 2 would be renovated to create a more closed maximum security cell structure and higher security classifications which inhumanely restrict movement and increase isolation.

Who would be impacted: The proposal would create 24 two person maximum security cells, where the Sheriff proposes to jail people needing mental health treatment. The Sheriff also plans to renovate an area of the jail where transgender prisoners are held (Pod A, Upper), potentially resulting in their transfer to maximum security cells capable of increased isolation and control, rather than working to release transgender prisoners. Additionally, the Sheriff’s proposal creates 4 disability compliant cells which will be maximum security cells where people may face additional isolation and control of movement simply due to their disability.

Transfer of prisoners: The Sheriff suggests two disastrous options for where to put CJ2 prisoners during construction. In the first option, San Francisco would rent beds in another county during construction (likely Santa Rita jail in Alameda County), costing approx. $13.5 million in leased bed space, not including costly prisoner transportation from the jail to court and other appointments, and making access to loved ones and lawyers more difficult. In the second option, prisoners would be transferred to County Jail 3 in 850 Bryant and housed there until renovations to County Jail 2 conclude in 2021 or later, costing $3 million in updates to the failing structure. This is entirely counter to the intent of closing the 850 Bryant and lowering the jail population.

 Only first phase of a costly spending on jails: This initial proposal amounts to $83 million, while the Sheriff’s Department has cited the cost of full renovations (“Phase Two”) at $200 million or more.

Possible elimination of contact visitation: The proposal plans to install screens in the visitation rooms. It is unclear whether screens will be installed in all visitation spaces or whether this will apply only to maximum security prisoners.

Programing space: The proposal adds additional programing space, however there will be security screens to separate prisoners in some of these program spaces, and the majority of program spaces are holding cells and medical treatment rooms. It is unclear what will actually be used for supportive programing for prisoners.

We are working towards a jail-free San Francisco. Instead of signing blank checks for enhancing jail infrastructure, the city needs to commit to permanently closing 850 Bryant and stopping its reliance on policing and jailing to address social and economic issues. When over half of San Francisco’s jailed population is African American, most prisoners remain locked up because they cannot afford bail, and many prisoners are in need of mental health services, we know that jail renovation is no solution.

No New SF Jail Coalition releases comprehensive plan to reduce SF’s reliance on jails

For immediate release – Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What:             Press Conference to unveil “San Francisco Community Health Initiative”

When:            Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 10:00am

Where:           SF City Hall (Polk Street Steps), 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

Who:              Head Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Supervisor John Avalos, Medical Providers, Community Advocates, No New SF Jail Coalition

San Francisco – Today, community organizers with the No New SF Jail Coalition are announcing The San Francisco Community Health Initiative, a comprehensive people’s plan that prioritizes meeting social and economic needs in order to end imprisonment. The plan is backed by medical experts and city leaders, and comes as the Board of Supervisors will be hearing proposals from city agencies, workgroups, and community organizations over the next several months as to how to successfully close 850 Bryant without building a new jail. The No New SF Jail Coalition rejects the notion that mental health can be provided in locked facilities operated by law enforcement, such as the partially locked Behavioral Health Justice Center proposed by District Attorney George Gascon.

City officials are also speaking out against more jails. Supervisor John Avalos has consistently opposed jail construction and helped ensure state funding for more jails in SF was rejected. In advance of the press conference, Public Defender Jeff Adachi indicated his opposition to aspects of the DA’s proposal, stating “Mental health treatment is critically needed in San Francisco. Rather than build a new behavioral health facility, however, I believe our clients would be better served being able to access immediate treatment at San Francisco General while awaiting placement.” Adachi continues to assert bail bond reform for drastically reducing the jail count by releasing under supervision those held simply for not affording bail.

In contrast to Gascon’s proposal, the Coalition’s plan outlines a citywide, community-based approach to providing care through housing, full service partnerships, substance use services, and harm reduction models instead of jailing San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations. Lidia Salazar from Communities United Against Violence reiterated that especially for LGBTQ, Black, and homeless communities targeted by policing, “services need to be separate from law enforcement”. She continued, “We need to continue investing in community-based services that are trauma informed and provided by those most impacted by incarceration. We need services that gives people access to support and the opportunity to take charge in their own healing and transformation.”

Nearly one in four people in the San Francisco jail system are homeless before being imprisoned with an even greater number of people vulnerable to homelessness upon release. “By continuing to divest from pathways out of homelessness, like permanent, affordable or free housing and housing support services – we continue to criminalize poverty and homelessness at neck-breaking rates. The local jail system will simply be used as an emergency shelter and treatment waiting facility only to see the cycle of imprisonment continue. It is beyond time for a shift in priorities and housing investments by the city,” said Lisa Marie Alatorre with the Coalition on Homelessness.

Today’s speakers include:

  • John Avalos – San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • Roma Guy – Taxpayers for Public Safety
  • Ms Janetta Johnson – Transgender Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project
  • Lidia Salazar – Communities United Against Violence
  • Jeff Adachi – Public Defender
  • Dr. Alison Hwong – Medical Resident in the UCSF Psych Dept
  • Lisa Marie Alatorre – Coalition on Homelessness
  • Representatives of Critical Resistance

The No New SF Jail Coalition is a broad based coalition including organizations of formerly imprisoned people, youth with imprisoned parents, and those working on community resources such as health and housing. The Coalition will continue to mobilize to city hearings related to jail alternatives over the next several months, oppose Gascon’s plan, and work towards reducing San Francisco’s reliance on imprisonment.

For more information and a list of endorsers, visit: https://nonewsfjail.wordpress.com/

 

Advisory: No New SF Jail Releases Report on Community Health Initiatives at Press Conference

Media Advisory – Wednesday, October 5, 2016

No New SF Jail Releases Report on Community Health Initiatives
Tells District Attorney: “Don’t build a locked mental health facility!”

Press Contact:
Lily Fahsi-Haskell: 9123985641, lily@criticalresistance.org
No New SF Jail Coalition

What:          Press Conference to unveil “San Francisco Community Health Initiative”
When:         Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 10:00am
Where:        SF City Hall (Polk Street Steps), 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco
Who:           No New SF Jail Coalition

As District Attorney George Gascon promotes replacing the jail at 850 Bryant with a locked mental health facility controlled by the Courts and Sheriff, community members speak out against this jail by another name. No New SF Jail Coalition will unveil a people’s plan, The San Francisco Community Health Initiative, which prioritizes meeting social and economic needs in order to end imprisonment. Supervisors, healthcare workers, and grassroots activists will speak to the key points of the plan, which outlines a citywide, community-based approach to providing care instead of jailing San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations.

The No New SF Jail Coalition is a broad based coalition including organizations of formerly imprisoned people, youth with incarcerated parents, and those working on community resources such as health and housing. For more information and a list of endorsers, visit: https://nonewsfjail.wordpress.com/

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Press Conference: Oppose Locked Mental Health Facility & Propose Alternatives

JOIN US AND BUILD PEOPLE POWER!
Press Conference: Oppose Locked Mental Health Facility & Propose Alternatives
Press Conference on Wednesday Oct 12 at 10am
SF City Hall, Civic Center, Polk Street Steps

WHY: Last year we successfully defeated the jail proposal. Now the No New SF Jail coalition has been focused on making sure that SF does not move in a direction of building a jail, or anything that resembles a jail. The District Attorney’s office, as you can imagine, has a different plan focused on mental health – basically a mental health jail. We must stop the District Attorney from advancing this carceral plan and ensure the Supervisors support community based resources and services instead.

Because the Supervisors will be hearing alternative proposals soon, we want to make sure they listen to community and not the DA. The coalition will be holding a press conference on Wednesday, October 12th to push back against the DA’s plan and uplift ours.

The coalition has researched and written a new report that lays out a plan for SF to move away from imprisonment and not rely on the criminal justice system. Check it out!

 

City Meetings to Close the Jail Continue: Turn Out and Testify!

On May 13th, the City of San Francisco Work Group to Re-envision the Jail Replacement Project met for the third time. The group will be meeting monthly until October, when they plan to make proposals to City leaders about how to close the jail at 850 Bryant and create alternative programs to imprisonment.

Several members of the No New SF Jail Coalition have joined this City Work Group and we are also encouraging members of the public to attend the monthly meetings in order to provide public comment and ensure we stay on the right track!
 
Recap of the May meeting:
At the May meeting, the Work Group was presented with proposals addressing what they are calling “Intercepts 1 and 2”, the points at which people come into contact with law enforcement and a person’s initial arrest and detention. Members of the Work Group and members of the public also responded to the introduction of “Intercept 0” which has been added into the Intercept Model in order to point to the need to change conditions before contact with law enforcement. While we applauded the introduction of this point into the framework, members of the No New SF Jail Coalition and others stressed the need for real policy change, resources, and funding to address Intercept 0, rather than just a theoretical framework. Additionally workgroup members stressed the need to integrate an understanding of the ways policing and jailing target people of color and poor people in order to really address this type of structural oppression.
No New SF Jail Coalition members introduced our “8 Guiding Steps Towards Ending Jailing” to the City Work Group and members of the public in attendance. The guiding steps were well received, with Work Group members discussing in small groups throughout the meeting and using the steps as a reference point when developing concrete proposals.
Upcoming meeting:
The Coalition hopes to continue to contribute specific feedback and research towards a jail-free San Francisco. We are currently working on our own decarceration plan for the city and researching issues such as bail bond reform and pre-trial release programs in order to give concrete recommendations.
We encourage you to join us at these meetings. San Francisco is currently engaged in an historic process. Come be a part of it!

Next Meeting: June 10th from 2-5pm
25 Van Ness, Room 610, Near SF Civic Center

We need your public comment at these monthly meetings to continue to uplift community based alternatives to imprisonment! Contact nosfjail@curbprisonspending.org for more info.