JustLeadershipUSA Continues To Oppose “Bad-to-Worse” SS10, Denounces California Legislators For Undemocratic Process — Statement From Lex Steppling, Lead National Organizer

August 16, 2018

“Any change to California’s system of incarceration will impact the nation, making Senate Bill 10 (SB10) all the more treacherous, as its proponents misleadingly call it “good bail reform.” JustLeadershipUSA opposes SB10, as it would entrench racist risk assessment technology in every single California county –and give law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges –ultimate authority to cage our communities. SB10 started as a misguided and dangerous proposal and it has only grown worse. There’s no such thing as “good bail reform” housed solely in the hands of judges and law enforcement. We urge the CA Assembly not to pass it.

JLUSA proudly rejects this bill in concert with local grassroots organizations leading the fight for justice and decarceration in California, including Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), LA-CAN (Los Angeles Community Action Network), Dignity and Power Now, Human Rights Watch and Youth Justice Coalition. We will not tolerate a legislative process that freezes out those most impacted, whose vision for transformation matters most. Californians have helped build historic momentum in favor of ending cash bail and overhauling the pretrial system. It is all the more unjust that the Senate Appropriations Committee led by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) voted to pass SB10 without making amendments public. Grassroots advocates across the state witnessed this undemocratic process shepherded by the primary SB-10 sponsor, Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys).

JLUSA believes that across the country, it is possible to concurrently end race- and wealth-based jailing of people awaiting trial by ending cash bail without using racist risk assessment technology. Given the well-documented practice of “up-charging,” by corrupt police and prosecutors, who add higher charges or even make up bogus charges –these pretrial overhauls will only yield fairer trials if the system can at the same time ensure due process with individualized hearings and by protecting the presumption of innocence for all people and all charges. A charge-based approach has only fueled incarceration. Californians deserve fairer trials that can only happen if the State prioritizes people fighting their cases from home, and not from a cage.

JLUSA will continue to demand a democratic transparent process and support the fight to kill this bill – we urge Assemblymembers to vote no on SB10.”

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