50 signatures reached
To: Santa Ana City Council
Santa Ana City Council: Close the Santa Ana City Jail!
Close the Santa Ana City Jail
Why is this important?
The Santa Ana City Jail is a for-profit jail, a morally and fiscally bankrupt business operated at the community’s expense.
In 2016, the Santa Ana City Council ordered a study to explore potential avenues for closing and repurposing the Santa Ana City Jail. As Vanir, the company selected to conduct the study, prepares to present the report to the City Council in February, we call on the council to vote to close the jail in 2018, and rid our city of its for-profit prison.
Built over 20 years ago, the jail has been maintained by decades of multi-million-dollar deficit spending (1), combined with a for-profit business model that until last May relied on an immigrant detention contract with ICE. Today, the funds lost by the termination of the ICE Contract are made up by a contract with the US Marshals to house federal prisoners (2).
The City Jail doesn’t even house the vast majority of people arrested by Santa Ana Police because county jails hold them at no expense to the city (3). This means that for all intents and purposes, the Santa Ana City Jail is nothing more than a for-profit prison operated at the community’s expense.
Private prisons are a form of violence against communities of color. And the Santa Ana Jail, with its profit-driven purpose is no different. In fact, the jail has been consistently reprimanded for the pattern of abuse towards the people imprisoned inside the facility.
This year, a government report “documented widespread abuse at several immigration detention facilities across the country and on that list was the Santa Ana City Jail, where it found delayed medical care and staff mistreatment” (4).
In 2016, the City Council demonstrated a commitment toward moral and fiscal responsibility by looking for ways to close the Santa Ana Jail. This year, the Council will have the opportunity they were waiting for.
Let 2018 be the year they vote to close the Santa Ana City Jail.
What Would It Cost to Shut Down Santa Ana’s Jail”: https://voiceofoc.org/2016/04/what-would-it-cost-to-shut-down-santa-anas-jail/
Santa Ana rents more jail beds to US Marshals after ICE cancels contract: https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/07/74385/santa-ana-narrows-budget-gap-left-by-canceled-ice/
Space in nearly empty Santa Ana city jail could go to mental health care: http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-wknd-et-0409-santa-ana-jail-20170408-story.html
The Santa Ana City Jail is in violation of the law, federal report finds: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/18/the-santa-ana-city-jail-is-in-violation-of-the-law-federal-report-finds/