Many San Francisco residents are facing hard times — particularly in communities of color. Many people in this city are struggling to find meaningful work, affordable housing, access to good education and sustainable healthcare.
It is concerning that at a time when more and more families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, some decision-makers are prioritizing spending on more jails, more police, more condos and luxury apartments, more Google buses, and more golf courses. We want, deserve, and demand to live in a city that prioritizes the health, well-being, and cultural and political life of all of San Francisco’s residents.
The reality is that San Francisco already has too much jail space. There are approximately 1,000 empty jail beds in county jails every single day in the SF, and the jail population has been declining steadily, remaining at 62-65% of its total jail capacity for almost four years. San Francisco politicians proposing this new jail intend to replace the old one at the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant Street because the building is seismically unsound. There is no need to replace this jail and increase the capacity of the SF Jail System. This building should be closed immediately without building a replacement. Not many cities are facing this level of immense under-crowding in their jail systems. This is an opportunity for San Francisco to build real alternatives for our most vulnerable residents and not rely on more jails and police — alternatives we know do not support our communities nor make them safe.
Key Statistics of those imprisoned in San Francisco’s jails:
- 85% are pretrial; most held because they cannot afford bail
- 56% are African American, at least 70% are people of color
- 25% are homeless
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