– FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
The Close CA Prisons campaign will hold an online rally and press conference on 1/12 calling for at least seven more state prisons to be announced for closure as part of this year’s budget process
CALIFORNIA––Today, Governor Newsom released the 2023-24 Proposed Budget Summary and failed to include a concrete roadmap for closing additional state prisons.
“More prison closures must happen in California,” said Amber-Rose Howard, Executive Director of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB). “What’s missing is a concrete roadmap for how California can close more prisons successfully and shift billions in cost savings away from wasteful prison spending and toward the communities most impacted by incarceration, including towns where prisons will be closed. We’re calling on the legislature and Governor Newsom to adopt such a roadmap, directly informed by the community.”
In response to the budget’s release, the Close California Prisons campaign will hold an online rally and press conference this Thursday, January 12th at 9:30am PST via Zoom, demanding that the administration and state legislature adopt a community-informed roadmap to close at least seven more prisons by 2025 as part of this year’s budget process.
PRESS: RSVP Here For A Zoom Link To The #CloseCAPrisons
1/12 Online Rally & Press Conference
- 9:30am Program Begins
- 9:45am Roadmap to #CloseCA Prisons
- 9:50am #CloseCAPrisons Speakers Press Conference Program
- 10:55am 2023-24 Budget Response
- 11:05am Questions From The Press
- Amber-Rose Howard, Californians United for a Responsible Budget
- Isa Borgenson, Ella Baker Center
- Yoel Haile, ACLU of Northern California
- Michaé De La Cuadra, Budget 2 Save Lives
- Genevieve Romero, Care First Coalition
- Woods Ervin, Critical Resistance
- Mark Golub, Critical Resistance
California has made progress towards reducing its sprawling prison system but more must be done, advocates say. “Despite the significant decrease in the state prison population, down 6.6% from spring 2022 projections, the 2023-24 proposed budget for corrections has increased another half a billion dollars,” continued Howard. “With projections indicating a prison population decline to 87,295 in 2025-26, the state should be making cuts to CDCR’s budget and redirecting investments to community infrastructure. The budget’s investments in positive programming for incarcerated people are important, but the state must focus on life-affirming investments within the community in order to sustain reduced reliance on prisons and to increase public safety.”
On December 6th, 2022, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced that Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) in Riverside County will close by March 2025. CVSP recently experienced water well failure and as many as 250 incarcerated people are being immediately evacuated.
Additionally, the $32 Million lease on CDCR-staffed California City Correctional Facility (CAC) will not be renewed in 2024. CDCR pledged that the state would work to support local communities impacted by prison closures with an economic resiliency plan, and that facilities in six other state-owned prisons would shut down. Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) was shuttered on September 30, 2021. California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville––a six-decade-old facility requiring $503 million in repairs–– must close by June 30, 2023.
Newsom’s budget for last year enshrined the longstanding possibility that at least three additional prisons could close by 2025. Prison closure advocates maintain that in order to best accomplish this goal, identifying which prisons to close next and how best to do so must be prioritized in the administration’s 2023-24 agenda.
The state’s own nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office produced a report in 2020 that outlined at least $1.5 billion annually in savings if California committed to closing five prisons by 2025. CURB released an analysis outlining savings from closing 10 prisons, detailing approximately a $1.3 billion reduction in infrastructure and capital outlay spending and an additional $1.5 billion in prison operating expenses annually.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a Black-led statewide coalition of more than 80 grassroots organizations. Our three point mission is to reduce the number of incarcerated people in California; reduce the number of prison and jails in our state; and shift wasteful spending away from incarceration and toward healthy community investments.