The Orange County Board of Supervisors (BoS) has promised hundreds of millions to two private companies to construct 900 jail beds for the (currently empty) James A. Musick Jail in Irvine, CA. Call Vanir Construction Management and Bernards Brothers Construction to demand they drop this destructive project! Scripts and contact information herein.
Alongside the nation, the Orange County community is voicing rage and grief after the murder of George Floyd and centuries of police brutality and racism. Communities across the nation are demanding that police, jails, and prisons be defunded and budgets be reallocated to support community alternatives. COVID-19 has left our communities in need of resources, and California has committed to closing two prisons and lowering our incarcerated population.
Yet Orange County is building a jail. The Orange County Board of Supervisors plans to spend over $350 million to expand and operate this jail, money that is desperately needed in our community. TJOC believes that healthy communities do not criminalize mental illness and houselessness while failing to provide the support our community members need to attain financial stability and mental wellness. The decision to build more jail beds and place mental health care behind bars is a decision to empower OCSD to continue to over-police and incarcerate POC and low income people. Our communities need care, not cages.
This proves that when our community is hurting, our Board of Supervisors continues to line the pockets of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The OC Board of Supervisors (BoS) spends almost 20% of its entire discretionary budget on the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and 56% of discretionary funds on public “protection” (including OCSD, OCDA, and Probation). Discretionary funds are unrestricted funds that BoS has the power to spend in our community, on services, care, and support. In October 2019, BoS approved $150 million in raises for OC deputy sheriffs, with an additional $48 million per-year in ongoing raises taken out of county funds that could be used for housing, mental health services in the community, and other community-based services. These increases do not include the cost of expanding Musick.
Read Jose Armendariz’s op-ed in the Voice of OC describing why our community does not need an expensive new jail. Call Bernards Brothers and tag Vanir and tell them not to build new jail beds in Orange County!