Sunday, June 14, 2020

Defund, Dismantel the Sacramento County Jail System


For months now our County Board of Supervisors have failed to implement any way for our community to be heard in their decision-making process (outside of submitting e-comments), so we hope you can join us on Monday for a community-created space for public comment so that they can hear us well before they make their decisions on Tuesday.
Why must we pressure Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to defund law enforcement, in addition to the City Council?
- Sacramento County is the body that approves the budget for the Sheriff’s Department and its operations of our two jails — the Main Jail downtown, and RCCC jail in Elk Grove. 
- All local law enforcement agencies (CA Highway Patrol, City Police Departments, and Sac County Sheriff's Deputies) incarcerate community members in Sacramento County jails, as the first stop post-arrest and pre-trial, and conditions inside are known to be some of the worst in the state. Defunding police on the County level also means defunding cages.
- Sacramento Sheriff’s Department currently receives over $372 million dollars every year, and over one third of the entire budget, and their budget increases every year.
- Sacramento County recently approved a $7 million dollar design/build contract to begin designing a new jail tower behind  the Main Jail downtown. This is just the beginning of what we know will be an extremely expensive project, with devastating human and financial costs. We demand the Board of Supervisors cancel the contract and invest the $7 million in community-based resources. 
- Sac County’s  jail population was reduced by over 30% due to COVID-19 related releases, and the County should be focused on continuing down this path by investing in housing, mental health care, diversion and re-entry efforts led by impacted people — not giving more money to the Sheriff’s or Probation Department.
- Sacramento County has been given $181 million through the CARES Act, which needs to be spent by December 2020. These funds have not yet been allocated to anything in particular, and we need to remind our representatives that none of this funding should go to the Sheriff’s Department, the DA, or Probation. These funds should be allocated to support Black communities, affordable and permanent supportive housing, mental health care, and community-led public safety programs
Decarcerate Sacramento supports the demands put forth by Black Justice Sacramento and 8 To Abolition, which are based on the understanding that the only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police, and to shift resources away from law enforcement entirely.
1. Defund the police
2. Demilitarize our communities
3. Remove police from schools
4. Free people from jails & prisons
5. Repeal laws that criminalize survival
6. Invest in community self-governance
7. Provide safe housing for everyone
8. Invest in care, not cops
Even the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Association blatantly admits that Sacramento funds law enforcement at the expense of almost everything else, and their mentality is to protect their money and power, not us.
Check out this quote from Kevin Mickelson, the Association president, talking about why the Sheriff’s Department makes campaign donations to pro-law enforcement candidates:
“Every budget cycle, the sheriff’s department is the largest item that the board has discretionary powers over. If there are any other hot button topics that people are going to want to fund, there’s really only three places that they can take that money from: the district attorney, the probation department or the sheriff’s department.” 

And that is what we intend to do. 

DETAILS FOR MONDAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE/PUBLIC COMMENT EVENT:
To participate in person:
- Meet at 700 H Street @ 10AM (side of County Administrative building closest to H Street).