Dear LA friends of Critical Resistance (CR),

Our Los Angeles chapters has been hard at work this year for prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. We’d like to share some exciting updates with you, ask for your continued support, and invite you to join our local volunteer network to support our new prisoner solidarity mail program.


Abolitionist Political Education

We began the year hosting some great political education workshops with community members at La Casa Roja near Korea Town and mid-town. We had a couple generative sessions on the prison industrial complex and abolition and are excited to continue building with folks not only across movements but across our city and more deeply within our chapter as well.


In February, CRLA in collaboration with California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ) and Detention Watch Network (DWN), organized a film screening and panel discussion of Ghosts of Adelanto and the Rise of Abolish ICE in Los Angeles. With dozens of people in attendance, panelists included: Cinthya Martinez, Co-writer and Producer; Lizbeth Ableh, Deputy Director of Programs at ICIJ; Berto Hernandez, Statewide Deportation Defense Coordinator at CIYJA; Mitzie Perez, Fund Development Manager at CIYJA and Marcela Hernandez, CRLA member & Organizing and Membership Director at DWN. You can take action to support the Shut Down Adelanto Campaign by following their instagram here.








Closing Prisons & Fighting Imprisonment Across California

As part of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)’s Close CA Prisons campaign, CRLA has helped amplify and advance the call for more prison closures throughout the state for the past couple years. Now the state’s Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO) has recommended shutting down 5 additional prisons. Since the campaign began, 3 state prison closures have been announced (Deuel Vocational Institute, California Correctional Center, and Chuckawalla Valley State Prison) as well as 1 termination of contract for a private facility (California City Correctional Facility). Following the LAO recent announcement of additional closures, now is the time to escalate our demands, especially as the Gov. Newsom pushes forward with his $360 million prison expansion plan in the name of “rehabilitation.” As CURB Deputy Director Brian Kaneda says, “True rehabilitation is challenging within prison confines and not served by expensive infrastructure projects.”


On March 8, the state’s Public Works Board convened to approve funds for a demolition project at San Quentin State Prison in the Bay Area that is meant to pave the way for Newsom’s prison infrastructure expansion agenda. CRLA members mobilized with our sister chapter in Oakland and the rest of the CURB coalition to flood the Public Works Board and Governor Newsom with emails and messages on social media to stop sinking public resources into the prison system and instead fund public goods like healthcare, job creation/training, education, and other projects that meet community needs and keep all of us safe.

Since the majority of imprisoned people in California come from Los Angeles County, we see that our communities in LA have a responsibility to resist each prison—whether in Southern California or elsewhere—to stop the expansion of imprisonment across the state.  Join us!

CRLA members and volunteers have also continued to work with family, loved ones, and folks recently released from California “Rehabilitation” Center (CRC) to get more involved in the statewide campaign. For three months last winter and fall, we turned out for parking lot outreach days to provide resources and resentencing information to family and loved ones coming to CRC for visitation days. We met hundreds of people and started to build a base of support for prison closure. In March, we had our first virtual meeting and campaign info session, bringing together folks from the outreach days as well as veteran organizers Dolores Canales (California Families Against Solitary Confinement), Amber-Rose Howard (CURB), Alesha Monteiro (CURB), and Joanne Scheer (Felony Murder Elimination Project) to share stories, discuss prison closure, and bring folks directly impacted by CRC into advocacy for its closure. Moving into spring, the chapter will continue meetings with loved ones and organizing formations of former prisoners and family members for the prison closure campaign.



Building Power & Connection with Imprisoned People Across Walls

Since the fall of 2023, CRLA has also been working steadily to fight imprisonment by joining the rest of our national organization in starting a local prisoner solidarity mail program in which we correspond with imprisoned loved ones and comrades, connect them to political education resources, inform them of the other projects and campaigns CR is organizing, and hear from them about how we can move in tighter solidarity with folks most impacted by the PIC. In January we collectively responded to 81 letters, in February nearly 90 letters, and in March we pushed for 100! Slow but steady, we’re growing our capacity to build wide-ranging yet strong political relationship with imprisoned people.


Our Prisoner Solidarity Mail Programs require a strong network of volunteers, and we would love for anyone who’s interested in supporting abolitionist organizing locally to join us for one or all of our regular monthly mail nights.  Our next mail night on Wednesday, April 17 is a great one for new folks to join, as we will be providing a responder training for newcomers (as well as those who need/want a refresher) on Zoom, as well as work time for returning letters writers.

Come through on Wednesday, April 17 from 6 to 8 pm PST for a good time. RSVP here!



Can’t volunteer with us but still want to support?

You can sustain our organizing with a monthly donation at whatever level works for you! Your support allows us to host our monthly mail correspondence nights, host in-person workshops, do essential outreach for the Close CA Prisons campaign, and much more! Donate to CR LA here – select “Los Angeles” in the designation.


Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you at an upcoming workshop, mobilization, and/or mail night!

In solidarity,