The Prison Abolition Committee recently approved a resolution to reallocate funds from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The resolution was initially endorsed by the Feel The Bern Democratic Club of the SFV and has been presented to other LA County Democratic Clubs for endorsement. The resolution is a direct response to the state’s bungling of the handling of the pandemic in state prisons, which are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of infections. In its call to divert funds from incarceration to programs focusing on mental health, substance abuse, employment, life skills and housing, DSA-LA’s prison abolition committee found the resolution falls in line with its abolitionist principles. The resolution is below:
Reallocate Funds from The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
WHEREAS the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has released 10,000 inmates since April 2020 because of COVID 19, and another 8,000 were released in August; and
WHEREAS the CDCR has made an egregious error by causing a severe pandemic breakout by transferring infected inmates from the California Institution For Men in Chino to San Quentin, resulting in the infection of 2,181 inmates and 24 deaths; and
WHEREAS the CDCR budget increased from $12billion to $13billion three months after the pandemic started, at a time when the prison population reached its lowest levels in 20 years,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles demands that the CDCR divert $3 billion of its budget to fund community based and reentry programs such as mental health, substance abuse, employment, life skills and housing,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles demands that the CDCR reassess the remaining 100,000 incarcerated individuals with a goal of releasing another 30,000 by the end of the year.