The California Prison Moratorium Project seeks to stop all public and private prison construction in California.
The money saved from California's prison construction budget should be used to fund and actively pursue alternatives to imprisonment for as many people as possible. As a result, communities will have the power to examine the reasons people break the law, and seek alternatives to prison.
Most people who are being put in prison do not need to be removed from society and could effectively be diverted into community-based programs. Since the majority of people are being sent to prison for non-violent drug-related or economic crimes, we believe these people should have access to drug treatment and/or economic assistance (such as education, affordable childcare, job training and placement, or welfare) instead of prison terms. Even the diminishing percentage of people convicted of violent offenses can be helped outside the prison system, through programs that address aggressive behavior and abusive relationships, and drug and alcohol treatment.
We consider prisons to be a form of environmental injustice. They are normally built in economically depressed communities that eagerly anticipate economic prosperity. Like any toxic industry, prisons affect the quality of local schools, roads, water, air, land, and natural habitats. We join forces with other groups working for environmental justice.
We believe that prisons do not make our communities more secure, and that alternatives will work. As long as prison construction continues, viable alternatives will not be utilized to their fullest potential.