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Addressing COVID-19 in Jails, 2020 Ballot Initiative, and More!

In this issue:

  • CJCJ and Partners Push California to Begin Collecting COVID-19 Data in Jails, Call on Governor Newsom to Take Further Steps
  • New Report Finds Proposition 20 Would Harm Justice Reform and Come at a High Cost to Californians
  • Your Support Keeps our Direct Services Going for the Community!

CJCJ and Partners Push California to Begin Collecting COVID-19 Data in Jails, Call on Governor Newsom to Take Further Steps

As COVID-19 threatens thousands of Californians in county correctional facilities, the state must track critical information and begin inspections.

Person in medical mask. Source: Tai's Captures

Source: Tai's Captures

COVID-19 threatens the safety of approximately 53,000 Californians confined in county jails and juvenile facilities. The alarming spread of COVID-19 in our state prison system also exists in county facilities. Where central information lacks, families and advocates are forced to piece together media reports, press releases, and anecdotal stories to track COVID-19 outbreaks.

After mounting pressure from CJCJ and our partners, California leaders are now taking first steps to track COVID-19 data inside jails and juvenile facilities. This will help us to understand the scope of COVID-19 infection and protect those inside. CJCJ thanks all of our partners who supported this campaign.

We continue our call for California Governor Gavin Newsom to tell the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to gather more data on COVID-19 cases inside these facilities, and begin facility inspections immediately.

The BSCC is a statewide oversight agency responsible for county facilities, but they have been slow to respond to COVID-19 in jails and juvenile facilities. Additionally, the BSCC halted inspections of all facilities--relying on “desk audits” to evaluate facility policies. The lack of centralized information gathering has prevented our state from saving lives by coordinating responses to COVID-19 inside local facilities.

Now, new data provided by the BSCC will allow researchers and medical professionals to track the rate of infections and provide treatment. Community-based organizations and systems leaders can better plan for potential releases and develop suitable diversion programs for their communities. While the BSCC's current plan for data collection lacks key metrics, like the overall numbers of administered tests, this is an important step to protect people in local facilities.

Read CJCJ’s Call for Governor Newsom to Address COVID-19 in California’s Jails and Juvenile Facilities >>


New Report Finds Proposition 20 Would Harm Justice Reform and Come at a High Cost to Californians

A 2020 state initiative would exacerbate the COVID-19 crisis, crowd jails and prisons, and disproportionately impact communities of color.

Barbed wire at California's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) O.H. Close Facility.

Barbed wire at California's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) O.H. Close Facility.

A new CJCJ report analyzes a November 2020 ballot measure Proposition 20 that seeks to roll back key elements of recent justice reforms, including Public Safety Realignment, Prop 47, and Prop 57.

As California continues to disproportionately arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate Black, Indigenous, and Latino people, this proposal will particularly harm communities of color. Proposition 20 could cost California approximately $150 to $450 million annually.

CJCJ Policy Analyst and report co-author, Maureen Washburn, expands: “The initiative would pull back on critical efforts to reform a historically inhumane and biased justice system. California is beginning to correct its role in mass incarceration by moving investments from an overbuilt justice system towards long-term, community-based solutions. This initiative would cut progress short and harm Californians—especially Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities—for generations to come.”

Read Investing in Failure: 2020 Ballot Initiative to Repeal Justice Reform Would Come at a High Cost to Californians >>


Your Support Keeps our Direct Services Going for the Community!

We thank our supporters for strengthening CJCJ's direct service programs and helping keep our team safe during this challenging time.

Cameo House staff receive dinner donations for participants.

Cameo House staff receive dinner donations for participants.

Since shelter-in-place orders began, CJCJ has continued service delivery while developing safe strategies to accept new clients into our programs. Cameo House for example continues to care for families currently in the program, and has responsibly extended services to new residential participants, reducing the vulnerabilities homeless families face during this time.

To support the safety of our frontline staff, NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, St. Anthony's, and UCSF in partnership with SF CARD has worked to provide our team with donated masks made available by FEMA through the SF VOAD. Additionally, yoga teacher Lael Caitlin has donated financially while offering free classes to support self-care for our staff. Thank you to everyone supporting us in staying safe.

As CJCJ’s programs continue to serve youth and families, donors like you make it all possible. If you would like to support our work, tax-deductible donations can be made via Zelle directly to the business account of "Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice" using the mobile number (415) 672-9589. Please reach out to Dinky Manek Enty at dinky@cjcj.org with any questions. Your support will help our programs continue addressing critical community needs.

Make a tax-deductible donation to CJCJ’s direct service programs today >>


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