Religious leaders at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to request restoration of Medi-Cal benefits before people leave the jail (October 2019)
Medi-Cal Enrollment Workgroup
Every year nearly 25,000 people are released from Alameda County Jail with no health insurance. Since 2019, we have advocated to ensure that Medi-Cal benefits terminated during incarceration are reinstated before or after? Release. Our current mission is to ensure that everyone eligible is offered Medi-Cal enrollment when leaving custody.
If you are interested in taking part in this campaign, contact Nancy Taylor: firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID Pandemic and Jail Crowding
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, we were active in the movement to significantly reduce the number of persons held in Santa Rita Jail.
In affiliation with Faith In Action East Bay, clergy and justice groups signed a letter communicating our concerns to the Board of Supervisors.
ICJJ organized an online petition
with 3000 signatures.
Some progress was made in the reduction of the jail population, although we are now seeing these gains erode.
We will persist and continue to advocate with the Board of Supervisors
and the Sheriff’s office.
ICJJ member Bob Britton, who serves on the JIMH Task Force Steering Committee, testifying at a meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
Diverting those with serious mental health problems from incarceration
Mental illness cannot be treated in the
punitive environment of a jail.
Yet 40% of people incarcerated in the Alameda Co. jail have a mental illness with black men between the ages of 26-43 making up an overwhelming majority of this population.
ICJJ has been engaging with county health and behavioral health care officials, other community-based advocates,
mental health professionals, and county supervisors
to create and implement an effective countywide
plan to significantly decrease incarceration
of the mentally ill in our county jail.
We continue to advocate for resources, preventive services,
and a spectrum of treatment options available
in the community for those in need.
District Attorney & Diversion
We work to curtail the flow of people into Santa Rita Jail by advocating for alternatives to incarceration, including reforming policies and practices in the District Attorney’s office, and other judicial offices. Our focus is on pre-trial release and diversion.
Our goals for 2023/2024 are:
1) To support the availability of pre-trial diversion and support services that currently exist, and identify the diversion support services which are missing and needed.
2) To sponsor a county-wide town hall with Alameda County residents to highlight new policies and practices being implemented in the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney.
The DA and Diversion campaign is focused on increasing the opportunities for diversion including the capacity of Behavioral Health Courts. The banner of one of our allies: Families Advocating for the Seriously Mentally Ill (FASMI)
Religious leaders read the names of all that had died in Santa Rita Jail since 2014. Rabbi Dev representing Kehilla Community Synagogue; Rev. Laurie Manning, Skyline Church of Oakland; Rev. Allison Tanner, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.
The Stop Deaths in the Jail group is an outgrowth of ICJJ’s successful May 2022 demonstration outside the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Over 150 people attended the vigil. Faith leaders read the names of the 68 people who had died in Santa Rita Jail. We joined with FASMI, Families Advocating for the Seriously Mentally Ill, to create headstones for every person that had died.
Goals for 2023/2024:
Advocate for policies and procedures to prevent deaths
Educate the public about preventable deaths in the jail
Alert the media with each new death
You do not have to be a member of ICJJ to attend the Stop Deaths meetings. If interested, contact Micky Duxbury: email@example.com
Reverand Michael Wallace, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, speaking at the May 2022 Rally to Stop Deaths in the Jail. Photo on the altar is of Norma Nelson and her brother Donald Nelson who had a serious mental illness and was murdered while in his cell at Santa Rita Jail.
Stop Deaths in the Jail
Care First Community Coalition
ICJJ is a member organization of the Care First Community Coalition (CFCC), which advocates for community-based wellness and promotes alternatives to jail for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. We advocate for funds being diverted from the jail to community treatment and housing.
If you are interested in being involved with ICJJ and the Care First Community Coalition, contact Myrna Schwartz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Care First Community Coalition June 2023 Demonstration at the Board of Supervisors
Care First Community Coalition demonstration in front of Santa Rita Jail April 2023
Media Development Campaign
The media group works to advance ICJJ goals by promoting the publication of accurate news, analysis and opinion. We connect with journalists and provide them with important news items and source information.
Contact: Liz Katz, email@example.com