After stopping construction of a replacement jail in 2015 and ensuring that the City and County of San Francisco prioritized reducing the jail population, the No New SF Jail coalition continued the fight calling on San Francisco to shut down County Jail #4 at 850 Bryant in downtown San Francisco immediately. SF County Jail #4, locally known as 850 Bryant, has been seismically dangerous for decades, and a racist weapon used to further the displacement and disproportional imprisonment of Black and houseless San Franciscans. Since 2013, No New SF Jail Coalition and Critical Resistance Oakland have worked to resist the attacks on houseless people and people with mental health needs, and pressure San Francisco to invest in housing and other life sustaining infrastructure and resources.
In the fall of 2020, after years of pressuring the City, No New SF Jail Coalition successfully closed 850 Bryant permanently, while also getting the City to release hundreds of people from the county’s jails due to COVID.
Of the many strengths of the San Francisco jail fight, the No New SF Jail Coalition has paved the way in showing wait sustained and persistent organizing agains the prison industrial complex can do. In this fight, we resisted:
- construction of a new replacement jail
- closure of the original jail
- renovating & reopening another already closed jail
- reformist reforms that would have expanded jailing and criminalization, including a behavioral “health” or “justice” center
- out-of-county transfers
- the use and expansion of electronic monitoring
- quality of life policing and criminalization of houselessness
- continued increased funding of SF police department and the sheriff
Through this work, Critical Resistance and the No New SF Jail Coalition have sparked a collective vision for San Francisco of jail-free city.
No New SF Jail Coalition enters 2021 regrouping for its next campaign, and CR Oakland refocuses on other campaign possibilities to fight imprisonment in California.
No New SF Jail Coalition maintains lots of resources for organizing, abolition and jail fights! Check them out on the coalition’s website:
Learn more about the conditions inside SF jails, their impact on people, and visions for abolition prisoners inside SF’s jails have for the city. Read No New SF Jail Coalition’s report: Voices From Inside here