ICJJ was formed in September of 2019, when clergy and lay leaders of 11 congregations came
together, bringing petitions with over
1000 signatures to the Alameda
County Board of Supervisors.
We demanded that the Supervisors guarantee restoration of Medi-Cal benefits to eligible
people as they depart Santa Rita Jail.
In response to our witness, the Board agreed
to work to repair this failure.
We have seen initial improvements and will continue our advocacy until the goal of comprehensive and automatic Medi-Cal restoration is realized.
Religious leaders at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to request restoration of Medi-Cal benefits before people leave the jail (October 2019)
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.
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.
ICJJ member Bob Britton, who serves on the JIMH Task Force Steering Committee, testifying at a meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.