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Coalition Defeats Two Major Prison & Jail Construction Proposals

California-Members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) acted swiftly this legislative session to defeat two bills which would have rammed forward over $4 billion in prison and jail construction money [AB 2256 (Gorell) and SB 1377 (Nielson)].
 preserved the possibility that realignment might result in a turn away from three decades of destructive criminal justice policy," said 
Emily Harris
 of CURB
 who is in attendance at today's hearings
. "Building more jails and more prisons would have continued policies that have starved education and social services of funding and would have sentenced future generations to a state that spends on cages but not on care
 , we hope to use this momentum to push for further cancellations of prison & jail expansion dollars in this years proposed budget.

CURB, a statewide alliance of over 50 California organizations working to end the expansion of prisons and jails and to reduce the number of prisoners in the state, has been organizing large-scale opposition to the bills.

SB 1377 (Nielson), which would have added $2.8 billion dollars for the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation to build 32,000 new prison beds, failed 2-5 in the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 22nd.  The author was granted reconsideration, but did not bring the bill up for reconsideration at today's last Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing.

AB 2356 (Gorell), which would have increased new jail construction dollars from $500 million to $1.2 billion received early push back from advocates across the s
ate.  Assemblymember Gorell pulled the bill three times from the Assembly Public Safety Committee agenda, today's Assembly Public Safety Hearing was the last opportunity for the bill to be heard. The earliest the bill could be reintroduced is January 2015, unless Gorell was to "gut and amend" an existing bill.

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