News Statement

A Vision for Supportive Pretrial Services in LA County 

→ See The Full Version of this Vision

A Vision for Supportive Pretrial Services in LA County: Abridged

November 2022


On any given day, nearly 7,000 people in Los Angeles County jails are at the pretrial phase of the criminal legal process, this number represents 45.7% of the County’s current jail population. LA County finds itself at a crossroads– the County can either choose to prioritize investments in the future of our communities, or systems that dehumanize Angelenos of color and perpetuate cyclical poverty. While the County has committed itself to a Care First vision for Los Angeles, the jail population continues to rise and people are spending more time in jail, away from critical services and resources. 

In March 2022, the County established the Justice, Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD) and tasked this new department with implementing and housing the County’s pretrial services agency. Shifting pretrial services into an independent agency is a critical first step in implementing the ATI pretrial recommendations; however, in order to ensure the success of the County’s new system, additional recommendations must be adopted in shaping JCOD. 

Grounded in best practices developed by national experts, the Community Care and Support Agency (CASA) model, ATI recommendations, and continuous community engagement, LA County’s care-based pretrial services model must be anchored in the following components:

  • The presumption of release 
  • Care and support, and NOT supervision
  • A commitment to address the long-standing, pervasive racial disproportionality issues in LA County’s jail system
  • Making significant advances towards the closure of Men’s Central Jail

In order to achieve and operationalize these anchoring components, the County should apply the following methods: 

  • Articulating a Comprehensive Vision and Concrete Benchmarks for JCOD: JCOD was founded in direct response to the findings of the Alternatives to Incarceration working group and designated as the County department to oversee pretrial services. Yet JCOD’s current mission is vague, shortsighted, missing key components of the ATI report findings, and lacks any discernible commitment to an actual Care First vision. JCOD’s pretrial model must articulate a clear plan for collaboration with judicial actors, service providers, and community stakeholders for group development of a departmental vision that is robust, focused, and geared towards tackling the issue of over incarceration in Los Angeles County through a socioeconomic, gender, and racial equity lens. The plan should include concrete goals, timelines, and benchmarks for implementation alongside other county departments and work groups. 

  • Community Engagement and Collaboration: Community engagement is a critical part of development and implementation of an effective and care-centered pretrial model. JCOD needs to establish concrete structures–including a JCOD steering committee, a community advisory board, and community engagement workgroups–to work with community leaders and organizations. Together they should articulate a robust vision for how its pretrial model will supportively move people out of jail and into community based structures of care. Once JCOD’s pretrial model is established, ongoing opportunities for community feedback must continue as outlined in recommendations 88 and 76 of the Care First, Jail Last Roadmap. (see full list of recs here).

  • Presumption of Release: As the COVID emergency zero bail order revealed, there are thousands of people who enter the jails who can and should immediately be released. Recommendations #55 and #56 of the ATI report recommend that the County institute a presumption of pretrial release for all individuals, especially those with mental health needs. The County’s pretrial services framework must ground itself in a presumption of pretrial release, prioritize release at the earliest possible point in the criminal legal process and create more efficient pretrial process and standards for assessing the needs, developing safety plans, and securing release of individuals at arraignment no later than 24 hours after arrest. The County should advocate for legislative changes that advance the presumption of release, and expand resources for the offices of the Public Defender and Alternate Public Defender. (see full list of recs here).

  • Care and Support not Supervision: Successful pre-trial models from across California and the country show that two components are necessary for Los Angeles’ pretrial model: 1) that it be grounded in community based support, 2) without supervision. Reliance on supervision denies the constitutional presumption of innocence and failure to comply with supervisorial requirements often lead to extreme consequences such as re-incarceration pre-trial and potentially harsher sentences. Surveillance-based conditions to pretrial release limit the viability of community support. To implement robust and effective pre-trial services, Los Angeles County must ensure service connection is provided at the earliest point possible and is led by a Community Care and Support Agency (CASA) rather than the probation department. 

  • Service Providers: Invest in Safety by Resourcing Care: A Care First model that centers public health and safety must center community based service providers who foreground trauma-informed care approaches. Emphasis must be placed on community service providers who provide specific and tailored services for individuals with mental health and substance use needs. All service providers included in the pretrial model must be aligned with Care First and have long-standing community trust. JCOD can work with the County to expedite funding processes for very-small to medium sized organizations to expand the pool of services providers able to meet the needs of pretrial populations and expand workforce development for the mental-health sector (see full list of recs here)

  • Tracking Progress Through Data Collection, Utilization, and Transparency: Frequent collection and reporting of data allows for an evaluation of the effectiveness of the County’s pretrial model. Data is also a tool for accountability and will support community advocates and public defenders in their own analyses of JCOD’s development. JCOD must build and maintain an adequate data infrastructure to ensure robust program evaluation and Conduct periodic data analysis to address issues of inequity and efficiency and implement evidence based practices in collaboration with the JCOD Steering Committee.  


The County’s investments into the Justice Care and Opportunity Department have the potential to transform a legal system that has, for too long, harmed low-income, unhoused, and communities of color in Los Angeles. We are at the precipice of change; to reimagine the future of Los Angeles County, it is necessary to finally invest in Care First systems and structures that reduce pretrial incarceration and help us realize the closure of Men’s Central Jail. 

→ See The Full Version of this Guide


JusticeLA Statement on L.A. County’s Horrific Conditions at Inmate Reception Center

Janet Asante, (310) 722-1474

ACLU Sounds Alarm on L.A. County’s Horrific Conditions at Inmate Reception Center

For decades the community has voiced outrage at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s (LASD) continued negligence and cruelty in the L.A. County jail system. What were already abhorrent conditions have now become torturous camps for abuse and inhumanity, and that is made apparent by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Southern California’s court filing today. JusticeLA is calling on the County Board of Supervisors to recognize that this horrifying reality is a direct result of the Board’s inaction to close Men’s Central Jail (MCJ) and fund supportive pathways out of jail. 

The ACLU’s filing named a litany of human rights violations including people with serious mental illness being chained to chairs for days at a time, sleeping sitting up, dozens of people crammed together sleeping head-to-foot on the hard concrete floor, and people defecating in trash cans and urinating on the floor or in empty food containers in shared spaces. The filing underlines the County’s failures to provide adequate health care, including failure to provide people with serious mental illness or chronic medical conditions their medications, or to provide care to people dangerously detoxing from drugs and alcohol. JusticeLA continues our demand for the County to fund at least 3600 mental health beds that will bring our most vulnerable community members out of jail and into adequate care. 

Lives are on the line. In-custody deaths at the watch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department saw a dramatic rise to 55 deaths in 2021 — the highest when compared to every year since 2013. Two people have already died at the Inmate Reception Center this year. 

Helen Jones, Community Organizer with Dignity and Power NOW and JusticeLA says, “MCJ should have been closed over 30 years ago. Many families no longer see this as a jail but see MCJ as a memorial for our children, our family members, and our community members whose lives have been stolen inside this cement slave ship. We have to have vigils on the streets even though our children and families have died inside.” 

James Nelson, Campaign and Organizing Manager at Dignity & Power NOW recalls, “I was inside of MCJ in 1984 and the living conditions and medical care were horrible then, and are now far worse. I am in total support of the closure of Men’s Central Jail with no new jails in its place.” 

 Lex Stepping, National Director of Campaigns and Organizing at Dignity & Power NOW states, “The Board of Supervisors has known of this crisis for years. They agreed to close MCJ with no new jails a long time ago. People are dying at a record rate. It’s a humanitarian crisis happening on their watch and no jail can fix it. We all remember the promise of twin towers and all we got was another death trap and torture chamber. Honor the agreements and close MCJ while investing in the Care First vision. Crime goes down when jails are closed. The Board knows this and we know this. Close MCJ.” 


About the JusticeLA Coalition:

JusticeLA is a partnership of grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. 


JusticeLA Decries LA County Board of Supervisors’ Response to Community Demands to Close Men’s Central Jail

On March 30th, JusticeLA held a press conference and rally commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Men’s Central Jail Closure Report. Hundreds of community members gathered in front of Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration to demand a timeline for the closure of Men’s Central Jail, and tangible and significant investments in alternatives to incarceration. Echoing back the Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) own rhetoric of urgency, civil rights leaders, organizers, formerly incarcerated people and their families reminded the county of their promises and exposed their inaction.

In response to the press conference, the county and Supervisor Solis’ office issued a statement claiming they could not commit to a timeline for closure because it is, “crucial to proceed methodically to ensure support systems are firmly in place to ensure public safety [and] avoid worsening the homelessness crisis.” However, community and numerous county workgroups for years have called on the county to invest in specific numbers and types of support and residential mental health treatment beds that would decrease the jail population and facilitate closure. To date, the county has not acted methodically but instead negligently. By dragging their feet and proceeding without urgency, the BOS and CEO have effectively trapped people in jail because the county refuses to put support systems in place that would encourage releases from jail. 

The county’s statement is telling. The county would rather hide away its houselessness and mental health crises behind jail walls, continuing to torture our most vulnerable in a dilapidated jail where the County has been violating the constitutional rights of people with mental illness for more than 25 years, rather than expedite their release and risk exposing the breadth of these crises.

Read and download the full statement here (PDF).


Statement: LASD needs to fund tech for remote access to court proceedings

JusticeLA urges the immediate release of our community members incarcerated pretrial; urges LASD to fund and expand technology for remote access to pandemic  court proceedings from their existing budget

At the close of January 2021, LA County presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor, of the Superior Court of California, issued a new General Order. The order authorizes judicial emergency continuances for Criminal and Juvenile Dependency court cases. The Judge stated that he made this order based on the high number of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County. This order will extend the length of time that our incarcerated community members are held pretrial in both adult and youth jails across the County. Activists, community members, public defenders, organizers, legal scholars and policy experts are all horrified.

Despite the clarion calls of community, and the research proving the deadly impacts of COVID-19 in the jails, the Presiding Judge has issued an order that increases the deadliness of COVID for our incarcerated loved ones.

Eunisses Hernandez, Co-founder and Executive Director of La Defensa, highlights the urgency of opposing this order from the presiding Judge. She says, “Judge Taylor’s order shows blatant disregard for our community members’ humanity. This disregard runs throughout the entire criminal legal system. Judge Taylor is acting without considering the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on our incarcerated loved ones. The Judge is out of step with the Measure J voter-mandate to invest in care rather than punishment. He is also out of step with the LA County Board of Supervisors’ commitment to a care-first vision. The Courts must course-correct and prioritize the health and safety of our community members.”

The lived experience and testimony of our community members shows just how negligent and harmful the conditions created by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department inside the jails are. Rojas, LA Organizer with Young Women’s Freedom Center, shares the way that pretrial incarceration has harmed them, saying, “When I was incarcerated in the County jail pretrial, I had to bunk up with someone with asthma & breast cancer. It was so dangerous to have people with serious health concerns in cells with multiple people during the pandemic. LASD didn’t show any regard for our risk of getting COVID-19. They also gave out masks that were extremely poor quality — the masks were made out of ripped sheets, and didn’t prevent the spread of viruses. I was supposed to have Court in seventy-two hours, but I had to wait five extra days. I was kept in for eight days total. I had no charges but because of my parole they left me in there.” Rojas’ experience shows LASD’s irresponsible holding of our community members for prolonged periods, endangering their lives.

Rojas continues, “I had a different bunkie each day, and they never separated anyone for COVID-safety in the holding tanks. They even put me in a cell with no water.” Rojas’ experience is not isolated: countless members of our communities have reported conditions of abuse and the stark impossibility of social distancing in the County jails.

The JusticeLA Coalition has long been fighting against pretrial incarceration, taking a strong stance against the use of risk assessments that increase the length and severity of pretrial detention. JusticeLA has partnered with others in coalition to author policy that will preserve the presumption of innocence for our community members who are charged with, but not convicted of, a crime. We are working to preserve the presumption of innocence and ensure the pretrial release of our community members through an LA County pilot program, as well as through statewide policy advocacy.

Titilayo Rasaki, Policy Associate at Essie Justice Group, who leads pretrial justice policy work, shares, “It is essential that we don’t cause further harm to our community members by exposing them to COVID-19 while they are waiting for their court hearings. It is immoral that the LA County Presiding Judge Taylor wants to extend our loved ones’ pretrial incarceration. The harm caused by this decision extends out to the disportionately Black women with incarcerated loved ones. Families and communities are fighting to free their loved ones while struggling to keep families financially afloat, and tend to the weighty mental health burdens of children with incarcerated parents. It is inconceivable that the Presiding Judge is standing in the way of the safety, health and human rights of our loved ones, and blocking their release. ”

In addition to the urgent need for pretrial release, the JusticeLA Coalition calls for video conferencing technology to be used temporarily during the pandemic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Court proceedings. LASD has failed to provide appropriate conditions to socially distance in Los Angeles County jails; as a result, our community members  are forced to quarantine, leading to them missing their court cases.  Video conferencing technology will move along court cases that were previously on hold due to the need to quarantine in jails. We are clear that the funding for this video technology should come out of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s (LASD’s) existing budget, rather than be another reason why LASD advocates to extract more of our community’s tax dollars. We note that Progressive District Attorneys have called for these video conferencing capabilities. In addition, we note that if our loved ones were allowed to come home to handle their Court case from their home community, instead of being detained pretrial, the Sheriff’s Department would not need to pay for video conferencing in the first place.

COVID-19 had already extended the average length of pretrial incarceration for our loved ones by many months. The presiding Judge’s new order will extend the length of time our loved ones are incarcerated for by even longer. Research from the UCLA Bail Practicum has shown how dangerous and harmful the extended stays of our community members in pretrial detention are. In December 2020, the UCLA Bail Practicum released a report, “Counting the Days: The Story of Prolonged Detention During COVID-19,” that highlighted the deadly impacts of prolonging pretrial detention in the LA County jails. 

Alicia Virani, Director of the Criminal Justice Program at UCLA School of Law and a former public defender, says, “It is disturbing to see the Presiding Judge of LA County ignoring the will of the people and the scientific data that shows how our already-most-vulnerable community members are being exposed to the threats of COVID-19 at heightening risk levels because of prolonged pretrial incarceration. With this new order from the Presiding Judge, we are moving in a direction that is diametrically opposed to the health and safety of our loved ones. The County needs to devise procedures to release people instead of continuing to increase arrests and delay court dates, which has led to an unacceptable backlog of criminal cases. Releases are the only effective way to keep incarcerated people and court staff safe, and to protect people’s constitutional rights.”

Other JusticeLA Coalition members share Virani’s concern. Rebecca Brown, Legal Fellow from Court Watch LA, underscores the urgent need to release people back into our communities, saying, “The Los Angeles Superior Court, as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, have a number of strategies available to them to make the superior courts safer. We implore those offices to urgently implement the use of strategies that will not result in longer periods of pretrial incarceration for our community members.”

Brown continues, “The court and prosecutors need to reconsider what cases are being filed and heard at this time.  Forcing people into court for traffic infractions or low-level misdemeanor offenses is contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the courts, while continuing to criminalize poverty in the midst of the pandemic. And, over 445 court employees have tested positive for COVID-19, showing risks across all parts of the system. The solution to this crisis is not incarcerating people for indefinite periods of time, but a meaningful re-evaluation of Los Angeles’s criminal legal system.” Brown raises the critical point that, for something as insignificant as a traffic ticket, our community members are being forced into incarceration. This explicit criminalization of poverty, which can lead our most vulnerable to COVID-19  exposure, is deeply unjust. None of our community members should risk exposure to COVID-19 due to pretrial detention. Presiding Judge Taylor’s order must be rescinded, and the Courts must speed the progress of slowed cases with temporary access to video conferencing technology. Ultimately, we must release our loved ones so that they can return home.



It’s Time to Fully Reimagine The LA DA’s Office

LOS ANGELES – We congratulate Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón for beginning his tenure with sweeping changes that seek to redress harms of law enforcement and incarceration on impacted communities.  JusticeLA will remain vigilant regarding accountability in the implementation of these transformative policies. We must be clear that the newly-instated LA DA Gascón’s first policy platform did not emerge without strategic organizing and continued community pressure.

On his first day, LA District Attorney George Gascón has committed his office to do the following:

  • End the charging of youth as adults
  • End cooperation requirements for survivors
  • Extend Victim (Survivor) Services to families of those killed by law enforcement
  • Review officer-involved use of force and officer-involved shootings and re-open cases dating back to 2012
  • Ended the practice of Deputy District Attorneys requesting cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses by January 1, 2021
  • End the practice of filing gang enhancements, 5 year and 3 year prior enhancements and three strikes enhancements 
  • Re-evaluating and re-sententencing thousands of cases including all those who have served more than 20 years in prison, those with sentence enhancements, those who are at high  risk of COVID-19, and those tried as adults when charged during childhood 
  • End the pursuit of the death penalty 

Justice LA celebrates these necessary steps towards reducing the harms of mass incarceration, police violence and draconian punishments to our communities. While we look forward to seeing the implementation of Gascón’s Day One commitments, we also have additional recommendations for the District Attorney’s office:

Alternatives to Incarceration

Over the last year and a half, the Justice LA Coalition has provided leadership and abolitionist analysis as a part of the Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup. On March 10th, the County Board of Supervisors made history by moving the Care First, Jails Last Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup (ATI) Final Report forward, and making the vision of investing in care first a priority in Los Angeles County. In November, 57% of Los Angeles County voters passed Measure J, the Reimagine LA initiative which will invest additional resources into alternatives to incarceration and community-based systems of care while divesting from systems of harm. It is important that the Gascón LA District Attorney’s office acknowledge this recent history and support its implementation by reducing the size and scope of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. 

The DA must work with the community to establish an accountable LA County DA’s Office, and work to shift the culture within the office so that community-focused rehabilitative and restorative outcomes are prioritized over guilty verdicts and carceral sentences.

Ending Cash bail is not simple

While we applaud the policy of substantially limiting requests for imposition of money bail, it is critical that the alternative will not be risk assessment tools and surveillance, and that the office considers the full collateral consequences of a charge in our communities. 

We demand that LA DA Gascón establish a policy and practice that Deputy District Attorneys will not request incarceration for people who violate conditions of pretrial release.

What’s more: LA DA Gascón shared that he will establish a policy and practice that Deputy District Attorneys will consider immigration, housing, employment, health, and other consequences to people accused of crimes when requesting pretrial incarceration. It is vital that this commitment is fully actualized, and that the office will seek to ensure the least restrictive conditions of release instead of relying on pretrial incarceration.

In addition, LA DA Gascón must establish a policy of transparency whereby his office publicly and regularly reports on the DA’s requests for preventive detention and corresponding data so that the public can ensure that preventive detention is not being used in a discriminatory manner to lock more people up.

Finally, the County must establish an independent pretrial services entity, separate from the Probation Department, wherein County residents can access pretrial services with funding reallocated out of law enforcement. LA DA Gascón’s public commitment to preserve the presumption of innocence must include advocating for a reduction in judicial discretion and shifting funding and power out of Probation. 

Prioritizing the Care of Survivors/Victims of Violence 

While we appreciate the commitment to ending cooperation requirements for people the criminal legal system terms victims, who our movements know are survivors, we must prioritize other forms of care as well.

We commend  DA Gascón for establishing a new policy whereby survivors of police abuse and their families are afforded the same benefits that “crime victims” are meant to receive, including facilitating access to the Victim Compensation Board for families who have lost loved ones due to law enforcement use of lethal force. We will continue to watch to ensure that these supports are provided in practice. Importantly, support for survivors must be housed independently from the District Attorney’s office, rather than within the office, as the county Office of Family Assistance and Communication, which is tasked with supporting families and survivors of Sheriff violence, sits outside of the Sheriff’s Department. This will provide survivors with both a safe haven through which to seek support separate from law enforcement agencies, as well as contribute to the reduction of the District Attorney’s Office’s budget. Both of these shifts are widely supported in the County as a part of the shift from our culture of punishment to one of support that voters have endorsed with the passage of Measure’s R and J during our two recent electoral cycles.

In addition to supporting survivors of law enforcement violence and murder, DA Gascón must ensure fair and impartial investigations into instances of police brutality, misconduct, and lethal force. We are pleased that he will open a Use of Force Review Board supported by civil rights attorneys and community members to review police use of force in numerous cases since 2012. We hope that this Board will fulfill its stated mission of recommending the re-opening of cases where law enforcement officers previously commited egregious acts of harm and murder with impunity. Critically, this Review Board must be separate from the District Attorney’s Office, as numerous community and advocacy voices have emphasized, and the cases that the Review Board recommends for re-opening must be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office with a commitment to the full support of community members whose loved ones have been stolen by law enforcement murder.

End the Lifetime of Consequences for People

The collateral consequences of an arrest, a conviction, imprisonment, and supervision have devastated communities and created further harm and violence through myriad forms of inequality and oppression due to race, citizenship status, income, gender, and disability. 

LA DA Gascón must establish a policy that ends the saddling of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities with fines, fees, penalties, assessments, and surcharges collected through the criminal legal system.

Criminal fines and fees place cascading burdens on individuals in the system and their families, entangling them in a spiral of debt and additional court appearances, and placing obstacles in the way of people striving to move forward with their lives. Earlier this year the Board voted to end the imposition and collection of county authorized criminal system fees and erase all past debt. New Board member Holly Mitchell also championed statewide legislation this year that mirrors the LA County policy, which goes into effect in 2021. The District Attorney’s Office must rein in harmful fines and fees practices and support potential state legislation that seeks to eliminate all criminal administrative fees. 

Establish the District Attorney Office as a Protector of the Rights of the Immigrant Community

Prosecutors are the gatekeepers to the criminal legal system-to-deportation pipeline. Under current federal immigration law and practices, any conviction—even an infraction—can trigger immigration consequences. Even an arrest or criminal charge, whether or not there is a resulting conviction, will often create negative immigration consequences or expose noncitizens to deportation. 

The LA DA should exercise its prosecutorial discretion so as to prevent the consequence of deportation and other adverse immigration consequences.

Establish the District Attorney Office as a Protector of the First Amendment Rights of the activist community

It is necessary for the LA DA to stand firmly behind his previously stated commitment to ending all prosecutions of political protesters who are non-violently exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech.  The LA DA should ensure that his commitment not to prosecute protesters gets clearly communicated to the LA City Attorney and to all law enforcement agencies who engage in the over policing of direct actions and the unnecessary harassment and brutality enacted upon protesters, which too frequently results in their  incarceration. Law enforcement officers in LA arrive at nearly all peaceful protests in tactical gear and in numbers wildly disproportionate to the level of risk to public safety presented by these direct actions. Police presence typically encountered in LA is often suggestive of military-style engagement, wherein they use a level of force clearly intended to silence and intimidate protesters. LAPD and LASD have secured LA’s reputation as having one of the most violent and repressive law enforcement regimes in the country, and messaging from the LA DA could quell this wave of oppression against protesters. 

With the above recommendations guiding our work, Justice LA looks forward to continuing to strive for divestment from systems of harm and reinvestment into our communities. Founded in 2017, Justice LA is a coalition of over 35 community organizations in Los Angeles County working to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. The Coalition anticipates continued success towards a more just Los Angeles County.


Sheriff Villanueva’s Trumpian tirades are just one reason why his office should be defunded

Image: LASD disgraceful family tree––Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka take big baby Alex Villanueva out for a stroll. Cartoon by Kim McGill.

Sheriff Villanueva’s Trumpian tirades are just one reason why his office should be defunded

August 28, 2020

Sheriff Villanueva is always crying about something. In an aimless, ranting, Trumpian speech on July 22nd, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva took to social media in a live-streamed video to complain about the growing efforts in Los Angeles and beyond to challenge the violence of policing, especially against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. He called out JusticeLA by name and harassed the LA County CEO Sachi Hamai.

As with Trump, comments like the Sheriff’s can have real, and dangerous, impacts. Because of the lies he told about her, the CEO was threatened by his supporters and needed to retain personal security. Well, she sued him, and won a $1.5 million dollar settlement on August 26th from his lies and bullshit. We often don’t agree with the CEO’s politics, but we respect her and we are proud of anyone who stands up to bullies. Given what has happened in Kenosha, we are also very aware of what happens when law enforcement enables their violent, toxic supporters. 

Here’s the truth: The Sheriff is upset that communities who are fed up with law enforcement agencies eating up the lion’s share of the County’s budget are organizing––and making significant gains. Villanueva’s crosshairs were aimed not just at the CEO, but local elected officials and community organizers alike, including those within the Justice LA Coalition, with unfounded, and often laughable, accusations.

For those of us within the Justice LA Coalition, and for Angelenos at large, Villanueva’s characterizations of people who oppose him as “the criminal community” endangers the reputations and safety of those who dare oppose him, all for engaging in community organizing for the public good.

The Sheriff even went so far as to accuse us, a coalition of mostly young community members and advocates, of puppeteering the political system by supporting a vital new ballot initiative (Re-imagine LA, also known as Measure J) that could potentially reduce his department’s funding by as much as 10%. 

A concerted effort to derail the measure and prevent it from appearing on the November ballot failed today in court.

“If you’re trying to hijack the ballot process to get something on there, and give it a very innocuous or innocent sounding name like ‘Reimagine LA County’…just think Mad Max. Think a dystopian world where there is no law enforcement,” Villaneuva said. Apparently, he thinks investing in health, housing and human services will somehow devolve LA County into some kind of a nightmarish fright zone.

In this political climate, it is unnerving that the Sheriff, himself an elected official, would smear community advocacy, organizing, and grassroots campaigning––the foundation of democracy––as ominous, or even criminal. 

However, we are not the least bit surprised by Villanueva’s immature attacks against our communities, the CEO, and efforts for justice. We expect more will come. In fact, the attacks make perfect sense: as the head of an office whose only tool is the hammer of criminalization, everything looks like a nail. Opposition must be met with the most aggressive “law and order” response possible. We see it all over the country. We saw it at the Republican National Conventions this week. It is precisely for this reason, beyond any issue with Villanueva himself, that his office must be defunded. 

While Villanueva’s tactics are certainly rogue, our communities have endured the same kind of attacks through criminalization policies from sheriffs long before Villanueva. Contrary to his campaign promises, Villanueva has been in line with the shameful legacies of Sherman Block, Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka. Like his predecessors, Alex Villaneuva has spent more time protecting his department than he has protecting the community. From coverups to abuse, to a continued and almost fanatical devotion to resisting calls for transparency, Villanueva is a shameful knockoff of the crooks who came before him. 

We don’t want to focus too much on his pettiness. It’s not even about him. The Sheriff’s Department as a whole is a threat to marginalized people, and that’s why it has to be defunded. Our communities will continue to be hammered by the violence, discrimination, mistreatment, and systemic racism of an institution that has never been, nor set up to be, an effective tool for public safety. 

This reality stands true regardless of whether Villanueva is sitting at the helm. The issues within LASD are by no means specific to him; he just happens to be the one in the hot seat during this moment of much needed, and long overdue, scrutiny of policing in this country. For years, LASD has been wracked by wrongful death lawsuits, all paid for by our tax dollars. Let’s not forget the federal investigations, use of force complaints, sexual assault charges, and severe mistreatment of people with mental health needs

These problems existed long before Villanueva, and will not go away until we start meaningfully divesting from the Sheriff’s Department in order to resource community-based solutions that have proven to be far more effective in addressing the issues communities face every day. 

These are just a few reasons we have to Vote Yes on Measure J in November, and fight to Re-imagine LA as a care first county staffed with people trained to help––not harm. 

We thank Sheriff Villanueva for making this ever clearer to the people of Los Angeles.


Want to support community’s demand that Villanueva Resign? Sign the petition!


Op-Ed: JusticeLA Fights LA County’s Jail Expansion Plan

Op-Ed: JusticeLA Fights LA County’s Jail Expansion Plan

By Jason David, White People 4 Black Lives

Jason David is co-founder of AWARE-LA, an all-volunteer grassroots racial justice organization of white anti-racists working to challenge racism in transformative alliance with people of color. White People 4 Black Lives is the organizing wing of AWARE-LA.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a jail expansion plan that will cost an estimated $3.5 billion. That is an extraordinary amount of money to waste on the caging of human beings, especially when we can invest those resources into providing greater access to affordable housing, jobs, health care, public education, and healthy food — critical elements that serve human needs and prove not only impactful on lowering recidivism rates, but promise far greater safety for all in the long run.

People of color, especially black people, who are disproportionately targeted and devastated by our current commitment to mass incarceration, have been fighting on behalf of their own well-being and the safety of their families and communities. It is time that white people, and especially wealthy and middle-class white people, see that the fight against mass incarceration and criminal injustice is our fight as well.

As Ibram Kendi points out so poignantly in his definitive history of racist thinking in the United States, Stamped From the Beginning, dominant groups don’t actively perpetuate or passively support oppressive systems primarily because of hatred or ignorance — we do so because we believe those systems ultimately benefit us and we have internalized racist ideas that justify inequities. I can admit that my own perception has been severely distorted when it comes to crime and safety, and for too long I have internalized negative portrayals of people of color as dangerous and believed “tough on crime” policies coupled with the punishment of isolation has made me safer.

It is a tough pill to swallow when we have to analyze the ways in which we conform to the very ideas and institutions we adamantly oppose. We do, however, have an opportunity — urgent and time-sensitive — to act in solidarity with communities directly impacted by discriminatory and dehumanizing jail systems.

Los Angeles County already has the largest jail system in the world. On average, there are 17,500 prisoners in the county jail system on any given day and 80% of them are Black or Latino. This county also has the harshest bail system in the United States. Just over half of the L.A. County jail population has yet to stand trial or be sentenced for a crime, primarily due to the fact that people cannot pay for high bail amounts. Research shows that people with mental health conditions inevitably get worse in jails. The chances of developing a mental health condition for people with no previous history of mental health issues doubles once they are incarcerated.

We know that incarceration doesn’t rehabilitate and that the vast majority of people behind bars are there for non-violent drug offenses and criminalized behaviors reflective of poverty, such as not affording bail, inability to pay debts incurred via penalties and fines for infractions, and a slew of laws targeting homeless people. This is why California voters have signaled a clear shift away from incarceration and toward alternatives to sentencing, such as passing Propositions 47 (reduced penalties for some crimes), 36 (drug treatment instead of jail), and 57 (early release for non-violent offenses). Unfortunately, much of the money earmarked for diversion are funneled into the Sheriff’s Department and are not used to advance the true spirit and aim of the propositions. This highlights the need to sustain our civic engagement and build a powerful base of support after we step outside of the voting booth.

So why do we still build jails? Why do we still lock millions of people behind bars?

Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has stated that slavery did not end, it merely evolved. He traces a line of racial terror through United States history connecting slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration. Michelle Alexander, a civil rights attorney and author of The New Jim Crow, frames a powerful argument with well-researched statistics and a thorough examination of laws and political trends that posits mass incarceration as merely the revamped version of segregation — a system for disenfranchising the black community under legal auspices. Ava DuVernay’s brilliant documentary 13th builds on these arguments and traces a haunting chronology through United States history, in which slavery was never actually abolished but instead kept alive through a constitutional loophole and deceptive projects such as the War on Drugs.

This framing of the problem before us has significant implications for the role we as white people play in relationship to the presence of — and plans to expand — jail systems.

Perhaps just as significant as the actions of enslavers, lynchers, rabid segregationists, and lobbyists for the prison industry are the everyday acts of complicity and complacency by white and wealthy people who, for many reasons, think these systems are justified in some way, think these systems don’t directly affect us, or think that we cannot do something to change such an overbearing problem. It has largely been the passive acceptance and permission of white people that has allowed for violent atrocities and acts of oppression to be systemically enacted on people of color.

I recently heard Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me, speak to the ways in which black people have carried the struggle for racial justice for centuries. And ultimately, Coates suggested, it will be on white people to set “a standard” for ourselves. Just as certain brave — albeit far from perfect — white abolitionists challenged the young nation’s behemoth economic engine of slavery because of its brutal inhumanity, we white people are called upon again to take action against the current manifestation of that system which we must still see as a violation of our most basic standards of human decency.

Many of us who are concerned about mass incarceration tend to feel like the problem is so massive or so far beyond our reach that we cannot do anything to change it. On the other hand, our voice is critical not just in opposing prison and jail expansion projects, but in calling for diversion programs and services that can be located in our very own communities. In fact, it is so often because we prefer to cast away those so easily maligned and quickly labeled problems or threats to the community that we throw our implicit support behind what has become a carceral state — a vast network of jails and prisons that has grown steadily despite reductions in crime and risen in priority as investment in education has dropped.

Because of these startling realities and this haunting history, I have joined a powerful new coalition looking to halt this jail expansion project and reinvest the money in community well-being. JusticeLA represents a number of grassroots organizations and grounds its work in the lives, voices, and aspirations of individuals and families directly impacted by incarceration. I will be joining them on January 11th for a town hall meeting at the Hollywood United Methodist Church at 7pm and I encourage you to join me.


#JailBedDrop Reminds Angelinos of Those Incarcerated During Holiday Season

#JailBedDrop Reminds Angelinos of Those Incarcerated During Holiday Season

Twas’ the morning before Christmas and JusticeLA and L.A. area artists collaborated to place over 50 jail beds throughout L.A. County as a reminder of the thousands of people incarcerated in L.A. County jails during the holiday season.  Kicking off #JailBedDrop, JusticeLA co-founder Patrisse Cullors joined new media artist Jasmine Nyende in the historic Los Angeles African American community of Baldwin Hills at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvds. in an effort to remind Angelinos getting in their last day of shopping before the Christmas holiday that for millions of people in America and thousands in L.A. County, Christmas will be spent in a jail cell and without their families loved ones simply because they are poor and cannot afford the high cost of bail.  The jail beds are also being used to further the conversation around the County’s decision to invest $3.5 billion dollars into expanding the world’s largest jail system instead of community-based alternatives to incarceration.

“Los Angeles County is embarking on one of the largest jail construction projects in the history of jails and prisons,” said JusticeLA co-founder Patrisse Cullors.  “JusticeLA has come together in our latest art action to highlight those who are most impacted by incarceration over the holidays. This holiday season millions of incarcerated people won’t see loved ones, enjoy a holiday dinner with family or spend time with their children.  Instead they will sit in a jail cell.  This jail bed action is to reminder to all of this holiday season about what we should be investing in and that is community-based alternatives to jails that keep families together.”

JusticeLA advocates for funding to go into community-based alternatives and not jails to address the communities with the highest rates of imprisonment.  Those communities tend to be primarily poor and working class communities of color that are also disproportionately high in unemployment, home foreclosures, school cutbacks, inadequate access to healthcare and lower-than- average life expectancies.

New media artist Jasmine Nyende added, “This project is about showing love and compassion to my family. Our community has been separated, caged and sold off for generations.  I hope this bed inspires people to write and think of their loved ones in prison or jail.”

In addition to Baldwin Hills, jail beds were placed in over 50 other locations by local artists throughout Los Angeles County including Inglewood, Compton, Palmdale, Lancaster, San Fernando Valley, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach. Each artist worked with different topics around incarceration including mental illness, women, People of Color, youth, LGBTQ and more.

Follow the #JailBedDrop on Instagram!

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“This project provided a way for me to express my feelings about the prison industrial complex from the perspective of a loved one,” explained Cole James, one of of the featured artists whose jail bed is on display in Carson at the South Bay Pavillion.  “The loss, longing and destruction caused by the system of penitentiaries extends far beyond their bars. It is shredding the happiness of families.”

Artist Qwazi added, “My brother is an inmate at Wasco State Prison. A brother’s bond is unexplainable, but the distance set between us is fully tangible. The thin glass that separates our conversation is endless and the anxiety of it gets the best of both of us. His children will be teenagers the next time they hold and hug their father and I will be in my 40’s when I can finally have a beer with my brother. I am not proud of the reasons for which he is there, but I do know he needs rehab instead of incarceration. I fear he will lose his humanity and loving heart in a place so lonely and dark. My feelings of helplessness grow daily and my heart has been heavy since the day he was arrested. This was an opportunity for me to express the oppression which has been laid upon my brother and myself.”

Qwazi’s jail bed will be on display in South Gate at the Azalea Regional Shopping Center.

Alabama native, Ciara Green is a self-taught artist and a business owner who fosters her craft in Los Angeles. Her brother Dewey has been wrongfully serving a sentence of life without parole at Smith State Prison in Georgia since 2015. During his time there he has written her many letters of which excerpts have been taken to be used as a part of her jail bed project on display in Beverly Hills. Ciara says the words that are harsh and painful to read, but it is the reality of those who are incarcerated.

“This bed represents an innocent man in prison,” said Ciara Green.  “A man who is serving a life without parole sentence for having a seizure while driving and accidentally killing someone. This bed represents our justice system in America failing us. This bed represents a man who at the age of 23 had his entire life stolen from him because of a medical condition. This bed represents my brother. This bed represents the lives who have been wrongfully incarcerated.”

In L.A. County, 40 percent of female inmates are Latino while 32 percent are Black. The men’s facilities’ population is currently 50% Latino and 30% Black – over 80% people of color. While Black people make up less than 9% of L.A. County’s population, they are almost a third of the county jail population. The most impacted districts in L.A. County are Districts 1 & 2 represented by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Mark Ridley-Thomas and encompassing the larger areas of East L.A. and South L.A.—neighborhoods that are predominantly low-income/working class, migrant, Black and Latino. More than half of those imprisoned have not been convicted of a crime and cannot afford bail.

In September, JusticeLA launched their campaign to fight back against the L.A. County Board of Supervisors plan to spend $3.5 billion on jail construction and expansion by coordinating the largest display of jail beds ever used in a demonstration when the set up 100 jail beds in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.

To follow and see all of the artists and their jail beds on display Christmas Eve, follow @JusticeLANow on social media and the hashtag #jailbeddrop.


Locations (in alphabetical order by City)

Agoura Hills
Whizin Market Square
28914 Roadside Dr, Agoura Hills
Artist: Bea Lamar

Alhambra Place
100 East Main St., Alhambra
Artist: Maytha Alhassen

LGBT Center of San Gabriel
2607 S Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia
Artist: David Chen

Westfield Santa Anita
400 S Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
Artist: Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero (as Guadalupe Bermúdez)

Edgewood Shopping Center
153 E Gladstone St., Azusa
Artist: Micol Hebron

Baldwin Park
Police Station
14403 Pacific Ave., Baldwin Park
Artist: Kevin Flores

Bell Shopping Center
5029 E Florence Ave., Bell
Artist: Brandon Thomas

Intersection of Bellflower Blvd. and Belmont St.
Artist: Cinthia Marisol Lozano

Beverly Hills
Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way
Artist: Ciara Green

Boyle Heights
Mariachi Plaza
730 Pleasant Ave, Boyle Heights
Artists: Brittany Estrada and Nelly Zagury

Calabasas Commons
4799 Commons Way, Calabasas
Artist: Bea Lamar

South Bay Pavilion
Near Target
20700 S Avalon Blvd., Carson
Artist: Cole James

Cerritos Station – Sheriff’s Department
18135 Bloomfield Ave, Cerritos
Artist: Julio Trejo

Intersection of Willowbrook Ave. and Compton Blvd.
Artist: Ana Ruth Castillo

Culver City
Veterans Memorial Park
4177 Overland Ave., Culver City
Artist: Josh Sugiyama

Stonewood Mall
251 Stonewood St., Downey
Artist: Mariella Saba

Downtown Los Angeles
Main St. between Temple St. and Aliso St.
Artist: Kim Robertson

Downtown Los Angeles
Fig and 7th
Artist: Matt Miyahara

Downtown Los Angeles
Little Tokyo
2nd St. and San Pedro Ave.
Artist: Tazer

Downtown Los Angeles
Little Tokyo Galleria
333 S Alameda St.
Artist: Alan Glover

Downtown Los Angeles
Twin Towers Correctional Facility
450 Bauchet St, Los Angeles
Artist: Giancarlos Campos

El Monte
Intersection of Santa Anita and Valley
Artist: Martina Aguilar

Lone Hill Shopping Center
1836 E Rte 66 Glendora
Artist: Shannon Pollak

Intersection of Hawthorne Blvd. and El Segundo Blvd.
Artist: Michael Massenburg

Hermosa Beach
Plaza Hermosa
715 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach
Artist: Anna Evans-Goldstein

Hollywood United Methodist Church
6817 Franklin Ave, Hollywood
Artist: Anna Mkhikian

Huntington Park
Intersection of Pacific Blvd. and Gage Ave.
Artist: Austin Fenton

Inglewood Park Cemetery
720 E Florence Ave., Inglewood
Artist: Tyler Hicks

Intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Century Blvd.
Artist: Rosie Shields

Lakewood Mall
500 Lakewood Center Mall, Lakewood
Artist: Ayesha Waraich

Mira Loma Detention Center
45100 60th St W, Lancaster
Artist: Michelle Navarrete

Larchmont Ave. between 1st St. and Beverly Blvd.
Artist: Dwora Fried

Alondra Park
850 W. Manhattan Beach Blvd., Lawndale
Artist: Tracee Johnson

Lincoln Heights
Former Lincoln Heights Jail
421 N Ave 19, Lincoln Heights
Artist: Gabriel Gutierrez
Long Beach
Long Beach Pike
95 S Pine Ave., Long Beach
Artist: Joe Miramontes

Los Angeles – South
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall
3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Baldwin Hills
Artist: Jasmine Nyende

Los Angeles – UCLA
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden – Hammer Museum
245 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Artists: Isabella and Ben

Los Angeles – Westside
Beverly Center
Beverly and La Cienega
Artist: Andre Simmons

Plaza Mexico
3100 E Imperial Hwy., Lynwood
Artists: Marlene Tafoya and Cindy Vallejo

Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu
Artist: Todd Bank

Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Village Shopping Center
3200 N Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach
Artist: Brianna Mims

Monrovia Shopping Center
300 W Huntington Dr., Monrovia
Artist: Yasamin Safarzadeh

Montebello Mall
2134 Montebello Town Center, Montebello
Artist: Joel Garcia

Norwalk Town Square
11633 The Plaza, Norwalk
Artist: Aida Ghorbani

Antelope Valley Mall
1233 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale
Artist: Samuel Mokelu

Paramount Park Plaza Shopping Center
8540 Alondra Blvd., Paramount
Artist: Gloria Sanchez

Paseo Colorado
300 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Artists: Tim and Rachel

Rancho Palos Verdes
Artists: Asli Semizoglu and Asli Tusavul

Redondo Beach
South Bay Galleria
1815 Hawthorne Blvd., Redondo Beach
Artist: Maya Mackrandilal

Rosemead Place Shopping Center
3500 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead
Artist: Mark x Farina

San Fernando
San Fernando Mall
1021 San Fernando Rd., San Fernando
Artist: Irina Contreras

San Fernando
Intersection of San Fernando Rd at Magnolia Ave.
Artist: Sheila Pinkel

Santa Clarita
The Plaza at Golden Valley
19001-19415 Golden Valley Rd., Santa Clarita
Artist: Joe Galarza

Santa Monica
Third Street Promenade
Downtown Santa Monica
Artist: Claudia Borgna

South Gate
Azalea Regional Shopping Center
4635 Firestone Blvd., South Gate
Artist: Qwazi

South Pasadena
Main Shopping Street near Gold line station
Artist: Mary-Linn and Reginald

Del Amo Fashion Center
3525 W Carson St., Torrance
Artist: Kingsley Ume

Westlake Village
Village at Westlake
Artist: Todd Bank

West Covina
West Covina Mall
112 Plaza Dr., West Covina
Artist: Graciela Lopez

West Hollywood
Melrose and Crescent Heights, West Hollywood
Artist: Chandra Anderson

Quad at Whittier
13502 Whittier Blvd., Whittier
Artist: Andrea Castillo


Follow @JusticeLANow and #JailBedDrop on Social Media for the latest



[WATCH] Three People Die Within A Month in L.A. Jails

People are dying in Los Angeles jails. We don’t need new jails in L.A. What we need are community-based alternatives.


Following Third Death in L.A. Jail, JusticeLA Announces Antelope Valley Town Hall Meeting

JusticeLA follows their ‘jail bed protest’ with  series of town hall meetings focused on fighting jail expansion plan

Los Angeles, CA – After the announcement of yet a third death in an L.A. jail within the span of a month, JusticeLA, a coalition of organizations challenging the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on their plans to spend $3.5 billion on two new jails, will hold a town hall meeting on Monday, October 23 in Antelope Valley to discuss their campaign to call on the County to redirect funds intended for new jails to community services and other alternatives to incarceration. The meeting follows JusticeLA’s campaign kickoff against the county’s jail expansion plan that saw 100 jail beds placed in front of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles.  The town hall meeting will be held on Monday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living in Lancaster (1030 W. Avenue L8).

“With all of the thousands of deputies and officers working in our jails with the sole job of watching inmates–while at the same time costing the citizens of Los Angeles County tens of millions of dollars each year–there’s absolutely no excuse for people to be dying in our county and city jails,” said JusticeLA co-founder Patrisse Cullors.  “More than half of the people in our jails are only there because they haven’t stood trial and cannot afford to pay the high bail.  The Board of Supervisors wants to take $3.5 billion and sink it into the same failed jail system instead of considering alternatives to incarceration.  That’s just ridiculous. There’s an old saying that goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’  Well it’s broke and we want to fix it.”

The third death was announced Monday by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner as being a 50-year-old man who was found unresponsive in his cell and died at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Detention Center over the weekend. Nineteens days earlier, two inmate deaths were reported two days apart at L.A. County Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

In 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved a settlement with federal officials over allegations that sheriff’s officials systematically harassed minority residents in the Antelope Valley and targeted African Americans living in subsidized housing.  In 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ)  found that the Sheriff’s Department’s Lancaster and Palmdale stations, both of which are located in the Antelope Valley, engaged in a pattern or practice of stops, searches, and seizures and excessive force in violation of the Constitution and federal law.  In addition, the DOJ found a pattern of discrimination against African Americans in its enforcement of the Housing Choice Voucher Program in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The settlement requires the Sheriff’s Department to comply with a series of rules on training, use of force and community engagement, and to be subjected to independent monitoring of its progress.

Long time Antelope Valley resident and former vice-chair of the Antelope Valley branch of the NAACP Waunette Cullors added, “The Antelope Valley is oftentimes forgotten by the Board of Supervisors and the Fifth District is underserved on so many levels.  African-Americans and people of color are the ones who suffer the most when we don’t invest in our communities. This town hall meeting is a chance to engage Antelope Valley residents in the possibility of reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting in our youth and families in hopes of creating a future where we don’t need to spend billions of dollars on incarceration. As a community we should decide how to best utilize funds to better serve our community’s needs.”

The Antelope Valley town hall meeting is co-sponsored by: Paving the Way Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Antelope Valley chapter, Sun Village Women’s Club, The Way Center of Truth, Green Thumb Antelope Valley Youth Group, Serenity Village Developments, Antelope Valley League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Antelope Valley Building the Base Face to Face, California Africology Association, Stop Mass Incarceration and One Way Up.

JusticeLA will be holding town hall meetings around the County’s planned jail expansion in each of the five supervisorial districts.

For more information, please visit


Work with JusticeLA! Administrative Coordinator Job Opening

JusticeLA Administrative Coordinator Job Description (Part Time)

JusticeLA is seeking a highly organized, passionate person to serve as its Administrative Coordinator. This position will support the core team execute a yearlong, grassroots campaign in Los Angeles County. JusticeLA is a coalition of organizations and individuals seeking to stop Los Angeles County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan.

The coalition is committed to investing in the leadership of those most impacted by incarceration, people of color. Formerly incarcerated people, people who have family inside jails or prisons, women, queer and trans people are encouraged to apply. Your experience in prison or jail makes you an expert in this campaign.

The Administrative Coordinator will be responsible for providing campaign logistical support, including: managing email inquiries, scheduling meetings, tracking work plans, note taking, tracking expenses, updating documents, among other administrative duties. On any given day, the Administrative Coordinator’s responsibilities may include: researching and communicating with vendors, organizing volunteers for direct actions, mobilizing the broader coalition through e-mails, phone calls and text messages and attending coalition meetings.

  • Support the planning/implementation/evaluation of events and actions. You will be responsible for supporting JusticeLA organizers in executing local events and actions. This includes being in consistent communication with JusticeLA’s various workgroups; tracking tasks, spending, materials and volunteers for each action; forming detailed calendars, communicating deadlines with the team and sending out reminders; gathering survey data and compiling new member information when needed; and updating advocacy materials as changes occur.
  • Coordinate & support Justice LA coalition members. You’ll also be responsible for coordinating communication and strategic planning between the various JusticeLA member organizations and individuals. This includes sending out coalition emails, responding to inquiries about participation, and connecting volunteers to the appropriate workgroup.
  • Supporting JusticeLA’s infrastructure. You will work very closely with JusticeLA’s co-chairs to ensure that all workgroups are working in tandem and that milestones are achieved. You will be responsible for periodic financial reports, weekly check-ins, attending regular coalition phone and in person meetings, reserving meeting spaces, ordering food and supplies, creating and printing agendas and supporting with communications to ensure attendance and member engagement.
Skills and experience:
  •   Agreement with JusticeLA principles and strong commitment to racial and gender justice and inclusive practices.
  •   At least 2–3 years of administrative or grassroots organizing experience (or related experience).
  •   A strong self-starter with experience working independently.
  •   Coordination experience.  You’ll be working with a broad-based team of new and experienced organizers and will need to be ready to support their work and solve problems creatively.
  •   Strong writing and computer skills.
  •   Proven desire and experience working to improve the lives for marginalized and oppressed peoples. JusticeLA’s network is made up of a multiplicity of experiences and identities, including formerly incarcerated people, family members of people locked up, people of color, young people, queer people, trans people, activists, educators, and national supporters.
  •   Comfortable working flexible hours (including weekends and nights), working via phone and computer, and keeping in constant communication with colleagues.
  •   Proven follow-through and ability to see projects and activities through to completion.
  •   Fluent Spanish preferred (not required).

The position will be based in the Los Angeles County area.

To apply:

Please email the items listed below to Please put “Administrative Coordinator” in the subject line.

  1.     A cover letter explaining why you want the position and why you think you would be good for this role.
  2.     Resume. If you are directly impacted by incarceration and/or have organizing experience that is not shown in your resume, please tell us about it in your cover letter.
  3.     Three references. (with telephone number and email address)

Applications are due by Friday, October 13th.