LA County has the nation's largest jail system - housing over 17,000 inmates daily on average, with nearly a billion-dollar jail budget.
The Justice L.A. campaign, led by Patrisse Cullors (L.A. native and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement), was launched to oppose LA County’s plans to spend $2 billion to build a 3,800-bed replacement for the Men's Central Jail and a new women's jail in Lancaster. The campaign calls on county leaders to redirect funds intended for new jails to community services and other alternatives to incarceration.
406 miles away, Cat Brooks - co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project - has spent years developing a rapid response model to state violence that implements community-led investigations into incidents of police violence and provides pro-bono legal, mental health, organizing and financial supports to families. As a result of the organized community pressure, OPD has had to on several occasions shift its original narratives about the victims. The model is being replicated across the Bay Area and the country. Additionally, APTP is working to develop and implement new models of community safety and recently APTP ran - and won - a campaign to prevent an increase in the Oakland Police Department budget for the 2018-2020 City budget cycle.
At the state level, Patrisse and Cat started the Justice Team Network, a statewide coalition of rapid response organizations across California that build infrastructure to support victims and survivors of state violence and mass criminalization; advance local reinvestment strategies that will raise the visibility of the long history and current reality of state violence and mass incarceration; and advocate for the redirection of resources toward employment, education opportunities, and public-health based responses to drugs and violence.
On December 11 from 11:30-2pm join the California Criminal Justice Funders, for a cross-county conversation to learn about innovative work in both Alameda and Los Angeles Counties to divest in prisons and policing, and invest in the communities.