On Thursday, January 12, 2023, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) held a virtual rally and press conference to raise demands for prison closure across California to the state legislature. As part of this action, we released a new organizing resource– A Roadmap for Prison Closure— to provide Governor Newsom and the state legislature with a concrete plan to close more prisons in 2023, 2024 and 2025 throughout the state.
Urge state officials to adopt a roadmap for prison closure that shuts down at least 7 more prisons across the state, prioritizes community input, and ends CDCR’s spending spree.
Support our organizing by taking two quick actions online TODAY:
- Send an E-Z click email to the state budget committees
- Comment on Newsom’s 2023-2024 Budget Proposal to demand Newsom slashes the state’s corrections budget and adopts CURB’s Roadmap for Prison Closure.
Use this toolkit to send two quick letters now: bit.ly/Send2Letters
(Steps also included below)
Step 1: Email State Budget Committees
Sending a letter is easy. Please click each link below, fill out your information, edit the template letter if you want, click “Email Now!” It’s that easy.
Step 2: Send Email to Governor Newsom
- Go to Contact | California Governor
- Right side of page, “By Email”
- For the topic, choose “Budget Proposal 2023-24” Then click “continue.”
- Select “Leave Comment” and click next.
- Choose “Con”
- Paste the message below into the Comment Box.
- Fill out your name and email address
- Click “Submit”
SAMPLE EMAIL SCRIPT:
*Feel free to copy and paste, or create your own*
Dear Governor Newsom,
My name is [xxxxx]. [If applicable, I’m affiliated with/a member of xxxxx. and/or I am a resident of xxxx/constituent of xxxxx. Optional: add a few additional lines here about why prison closure is important to you.]
First, I want to applaud you for your commitment to closing three state-owned prisons. These are important steps toward reversing California’s terrible history of prison expansion. However, we must also ensure the 2023-2024 budget supports prison closure. We must divest from incarceration and invest in the community based resources we all know truly keep us safe – including affordable housing, mental health care, job training programs, and more.
California must develop and adopt a comprehensive plan for future prison closures that takes into account the experiences and needs of those most affected by incarceration. While the state has pledged to provide economic resiliency support to local communities impacted by prison closures, this is just one aspect of a broader plan that should prioritize community investment not only in towns where prisons are closing, but in communities disproportionately impacted by incarceration.
A serious plan for prison closure means that prison populations are reduced through releases, not transfers; prison budgets are slashed; investments in community-based services are prioritized; voices of justice-impacted people are heard; and that labor solutions are front and center. Strategies for a just transition away from prison economies can provide pathways for workers to new, high-quality jobs with integrity. Prioritizing reentry, training and other services for formerly incarcerated people would help them join these new economies.
Governor Newsom, I urge you to identify more prisons to close and include a concrete plan for shutting them down in the revised 2023-24 budget. The Close California Prisons campaign, anchored by Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), a coalition of more than 80 organizations, believes that as California led the country in a prison construction boom, our state must now lead the way in undoing these past wrongs by selecting at least 7 additional prisons to close by 2025, and investing in our most vulnerable communities – and we now have an unprecedented opportunity to do so.
Our movement, our lived experience, and all available data including a February 2021 report produced by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and Assembly member Budget Chair Ting’s Budget Blueprint for 2023-24, proves that more prison closures are not only possible, but will also greatly benefit the economy, job sectors, public health, and the environment of cities and communities.
A budget is a reflection of our values. Implement a budget now that reflects the vast majority of Californians’ racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, and public health priorities — close more prisons and invest in our communities!