The Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County
is committed to creating a fair and just public safety system
based on effective practices that
invest in our communities, our families, and our people.
Who We Are
The Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County (JRCAC)
is comprised of community-based advocacy organizations committed to
creating a fair and just public safety system based on effective practices
that invest in our communities, our families, and our people.
What We Do
We fight for equitable and sustainable systems that eliminate criminalization while acknowledging that detention and incarceration impoverish our communities and harm public safety.
GET THE FACTS
We imprison more people than any other country in the world
Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately incarcerated for
The United States has over 2.4 million people behind bars, an increase of over 500% in the past thirty years.
The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.
75% of people incarcerated for drug offenses in the United States are Black or Latino.
The United States incarcerates a higher percentage of black men than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.
An African-American male is sentenced an average of a 20 to 50 times longer prison term then a white male convicted of the same drug crime.
The United States is the only country that
permits permanent disenfranchisement of felons even after completion of their sentences.
"Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal."
- Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
In many inner cities, eighty percent of young men have prison records.
California Spends Six Times More On Prison Inmates Than On College Students
California, for instance, spent $9.6 billion on prisons in 2011 but just $5.7 billion on higher education. The state spends $8,667 per student, per year compared to roughly $50,000 per inmate, per year. In the last 30 years, California has built 20 new prisons and just one new college campus.
In Alameda County, an estimated 375,000 people have a criminal record.
Put another way, nearly 25% of Alameda County residents have a criminal record.
A February 2015 report from the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that Prop. 47 state savings from reduced imprisonment rates would range from $100 million to $200 million. However, Governor Brown’s proposed budget estimated Prop 47 savings at only $29.3 million and allocated another $250 million towards jail construction.
• 50% of AB109 Funds set aside for CBOs - Successful Coalition campaigns in FY 15/16 and FY 16/17 that achieved unanimous votes from the Board of Supervisors to set aside 50% of the county’s AB 109 realignment budget for CBOs. Previously, CBOs had been receiving about 20% of the realignment funding, in spite of doing the heavy lifting in providing the full spectrum of realignment and reentry services. For FY 17/18 and going forward that 50% set aside for CBO’s is now permanent policy. It is anticipated that the CBO share of the FY 17/18 realignment budget will be approximately $21 million.
• $1.7 million for Pre-trial Release & $1 million for ‘For Us By Us’ - In June 2015 the Coalition proposed and won a commitment from the county to develop RFPs for $1.7 million for pre-trial release services and $1 million for ‘For Us By Us’ services, those are services provided by agencies with at least 50% staffing by formerly incarcerated individuals. The $1.7 million for pre-trial release represents the county’s most significant investment in the services in recent years. The $1 million investment in ‘For Us By Us’ is widely recognized as highly innovative and unprecedented for any California county and perhaps nationwide.
• 1400 Jobs for Freedom - In June 2016 the Coalition won a unanimous vote from the Board of Supervisors to endorse and implement the our ‘1400 Jobs for Freedom Initiative’ dedicated to hiring members of the reentry community into a significant number of permanent living wage, full benefited county jobs. The Coalition has been at the table with county department heads negotiating for a program design and implementation plan that maximizes benefit and access for the broad reentry community.
• Reduction in Maximum Probation Terms from 5 to 3 Years - The Coalition has been a determined advocate for lowering the county maximum terms of probation from five to three years, to make them more reflective of national research data on best practice and more in line with most other California counties. In April 2017 the District Attorney announced a change in policy to seek no more than three year maximum probation terms, which is supported by the Chief Probation Officer.
• Community Advisory Board (CAB) launch & structure - In the late summer and fall o 2014 the Coalition played a significant role in helping to launch the Community Advisory Board (CAB) that advises the Community Corrections Partnership’s Executive Committee on policy, program and budget for implementation of AB 109 in this county. The Coalition partnered with the Probation Department and District Attorney’s Office to convene six community meetings to receive input that was key in helping to develop the CAB’s guidelines for membership and operations. An outcome of the community meetings was to assure a significant presence of formerly incarcerated members on the CAB.
• Town Halls with County Leaders - The Coalition continues to convene successful Town Halls where testimonies from formerly incarcerated individuals are presented to community members and county leaders along with demands for specific justice systems reforms and on behalf of projects like the 1400 Jobs for Freedom Initiative. Our Town Halls have filled local church sanctuaries to capacity.
• Constant Advocacy - Coalition members have been a constant presence in the county’s reentry and Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) AB 109 realignment workgroups and at its Executive Committee meetings. We consistently speak for progressive approaches to developing realignment policy, program and budget recommendations, consistent with the values and goals stated in the JRC/AC Statement of Purpose and Goals.
• Release from Santa Rita Jail - Successful campaign in the summer of 2017 to seek the release from Santa Rita Jail and the resolution of a case, after four years of pre-conviction incarceration, of a young man awaiting trial as an adult on a charge filed when he was a juvenile.
• Fines & Fees - Successful campaign in the fall of 2018 to eliminate certain fines and fees imposed upon adults involved with the criminal courts and supervised by the Probation Department.
Specifically, we ask that the Alameda County criminal justice budget decisions be guided by the following principles:
○ Invest in opportunities, services, resources and programs that address root causes and empower communities.
○ Utilize community-based restorative practices over traditional punitive law enforcement approaches to public safety and protection.
○ End the disproportionate impact the criminal justice system has on race, class, age and zip code by taking the social determinants of health into account.
○ Fund culturally competent, peer based programs and services.
○ Increase community safety while ending mass incarceration.