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Alternatives to Incarceration

The Invest in San Diego Families coalition has been working with Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer on recommending alternatives to incarceration in San Diego County. We believe that policing and incarceration does not keep people safe. We ask that the county develop a clear plan for shrinking our jail population and diverting as many people as possible to alternative programs. Incarcerating people does not solve the issues that our communities face with poverty, lack of access to healthcare, etc.

On Feb 8, 2022, the County Administration Office presented their preliminary report with analysis and recommendations for changes to County policies and practices to expand alternatives to incarceration. Some of the recommendations from the report and board letter include:

  • Stopping arrests for misdemeanors
  • Outreach and services for houseless individuals
  • Community Services (crisis lines, crisis care continuum)
  • Programs for people dealing with substance abuse, and mental health issues
  • Creating a community led  advisory board

We testified at the hearing and urged the County to include our recommendations. Scroll down to see video testimony of our recommendations.

Check out some of our coalition’s testimonies:

Judy shared a heartbreaking story of what happens when police come instead of mental health professionals. She called on the County of San Diego to stop the over policing and incarceration of Black and Brown communities and to focus on what really keeps us safe.
Judith Howell
Community Advocate at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Action Fund

Laila highlights that people are less likely to return to jail when they have access to services and community support. She called for a paradigm shift in San Diego County and for decision making spaces to include community workers and people whose lives have been impacted by the carceral system.  

Laila Aziz
Participatory Defense & Director of Operations at Pillars of the Community 

Blair called on the County to decrease the Sheriff’s budget and to  include system impacted individuals on any potential County task force on alternatives to incarceration.

Blair Overstreet
Organizer at the Center on Policy Initiatives

Check out the 20 minute presentation by county staff and the rest of the Board of Supervisors hearing on February 8, 2022.

Video is time stamped to start at the beginning of the staff’s presentation.

Upcoming dates to be aware of in the County’s process to develop alternatives to incarceration.

Mar 15, 2022
SANDAG preliminary report

SANDAG presents preliminary report from research on alternatives to incarceration.

May 24, 2022
Initial Interim report and recommendations

SANDAG presents interim report on recommendations for alternatives to incarceration.

Oct 25, 2022
Draft Comprehensive Report and Recommendations
Feb 1, 2023
Final Comprehensive Report and Recommendations

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