Jobs Not Jails in Alameda County

Photo credit: Brooke Anderson

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and our allies at the Justice Reinvestment Coalition are campaigning for jobs not jails, books not bars, and healthcare not handcuffs in Alameda County.

Organize with us to ensure that county officials implement a budget that prioritizes job training, education, healthcare, and housing instead of more policing and jails.

Right now, county supervisors are considering expanding the Santa Rita jail as a "mental health" jail, but we know that incarceration increases mental health risks. 

Be a part of a movement that fights for mental health services based in the community, not in jail. To join the Jobs Not Jails campaign, please contact our Local Advocate, Tash Nguyen: tash@ellabakercenter.org.

Background:

The "realignment" of people convicted of lower-level offenses from California prisons to 58 counties is a once-in-a-century opportunity that Alameda County should not waste. Since realignment in 2011, Alameda County has received more than $30 million from the state each year.

In the past, the Board of Supervisors have allocated more than half of the funding towards incarceration and correctional purposes. We need to change our priorities and fund programs that help people coming out of jail find housing, employment, and education, or California's prison overcrowding could soon be replicated throughout our counties.

After organizing with our allies at the Alameda County Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform, faith leaders, and community members, we won a significant victory in our Jobs Not Jails campaign in 2015 when the Board of Supervisors approved a directive to set aside half of the county's public safety realignment budget for community-based reentry programs that help people coming out of jail rebuild their lives.

Now, we are working with our allies to ensure that the county follows through on this promise, and the community receives the resources we need to thrive. 

Learn more about our other campaigns.