My Personal Stake

Why does building a Care First California matter to me?

Who you are, where you work, and what kind of community you live in makes a big difference as to where you’ll find your personal stake in a Care First future. While some may feel as though some central themes of Care First ideology, such as fighting mass incarceration, isn’t a huge problem in their own communities, or something they need to worry about for their neighbors and loved ones, our collective health is tied inextricably to these concepts. 

If you’d like to read more or have questions, please visit our Media Library for critical reading and watching experiences, or our  Documents Library to browse the research we use to inform our policy strategy. If you’d like to get involved, continue your political education, and take part in upcoming actions, connect and plug in with some of our local organizations.  

I am an impacted community member

I have been impacted by police violence and the carceral system personally, or through a family member or loved one.  

You’re the reason we fight. Whether you or your loved ones have been impacted by California’s bloated carceral system, or you simply care about the moral, social, environmental, and economic ramifications of continuing California’s legacy of mass incarceration, racial inequity, and law enforcement abuse, Care First policies will move California into a future that sees our communities healed, restored, and thriving. 

Data & Context

Men in state prisons experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
60%

"Prisons are traumatic, unhealthy places that lead to lasting physical and emotional health impacts for incarcerated individuals, their families, and the people that work in these facilities."

- Data from the People's Plan for Prison Closure

I work in law enforcement

I’m concerned that Care First policies mean my workplaces and employers are losing funding and I may lose my source of income. 

Your stake is highly personal. California prisons are toxic to the people in them, both physically and emotionally, and that includes you. From highly toxic facilities, to the health and mental health issues that plague Police, Probation Officers, Prison Guards, and other employees of the Prison Industrial Complex, your livelihood risks your life in more ways than you might think. 

Our vision leaves no one behind, which is why we’re working toward Care First policies with a Just Transition in mind. A Just Transition will ensure that you have the financial and educational opportunities to make your transition from working within oppressive systems, into good-paying, stable jobs that support you and your family, and restore our communities.  

Data & Context

"While local economic concerns about prison closure will doubtlessly be raised, it is important to keep these realities in mind. By closing prisons, California not only has the opportunity to right the wrongs of reliance on cages, it also has the chance to reinvest in communities in creative and generative ways, creating connections to job development that support community reinvestment. Far from hurting local economies, closing prisons presents an opportunity to transform them for the better."

- The People's Plan for Prison Closure
CDCR employees are 33% more likely* to die by suicide
33%
CDCR employees are 50% more likely to develop diabetes & heart disease
50%
60% of CDCR employees experience symptoms of PTSD
60%

*more likely than the general population

I'm a community member

I’m concerned about the many public health crises our State is facing, such as houselessness, mass incarceration, and systemic racism. 

You have a huge stake in the work we’re doing. Whether you or your loved ones have been impacted by California’s bloated carceral system, or you simply care about the moral, social, environmental, and economic ramifications of continuing California’s legacy of mass incarceration, racial inequity, and law enforcement abuse — Care First policies will move California into a future that sees our communities healed, restored, and thriving. 

 

"Directly impacted communities led efforts to create new parole opportunities for people sentenced when they were youth, repealed and reformed numerous sentence enhancements, and created avenues for resentencing large numbers of incarcerated people.

"Despite this consistent pressure from California voters, bad system actors would rather build cages instead of schools; hire prison guards instead of health care workers; and use punishment systems steeped in racial injustice instead of investing in community-based systems of care. California’s 30-year policy of prison expansion–while millions of residents struggle for basic needs–is inexorably tied to our state’s current social and fiscal instability, wasting much needed resources on a system of unprecedented injustice."

- The People's Plan for Prison Closure

Prisons are a Public Health Disaster

High Desert State Prison (HDSP) provides tap water that contains levels of arsenic 2,264 times higher than what is considered to be safe for human health.

The average age of a person sentenced to life without parole is 19. This country is alone in sentencing youth to life in prison.

Prisons destroy local businesses.