Stop the Wasteful $3.5 Billion Jail Construction Project

More incarceration does NOT equal less crime

Powerful figures in law enforcement and the jail industry are pushing a massive jail construction project in Los Angeles County conservatively estimated to cost $3.5 billion.

But the county jail system, already the largest in the nation, does not need new buildings. What it truly needs is drastic reform of an incarceration system that is not only woefully outdated, but also severely unfair to people of color, people living in poverty and women.


  • 80% of inmates in L.A. County jails are Black or Latino.
  • 51% have not stood trial or are awaiting sentencing. Many if not most of these inmates are locked up because they can’t afford to meet bail.

Part of the billion-dollar project would require moving women incarcerated at Lynwood to Lancaster, which is 75 miles away from Downtown L.A. — away from family and from organizations that provide programs and support to these women inside and outside of jail.

No conclusive research has indicated that increased jail incarceration has a meaningful impact on crime reduction. The taxpayer funds earmarked for this wrong-headed project would be far better spent on criminal justice and bail system reforms, plus community-based programs that have been shown to be effective in many parts of the country.

Los Angeles should be a leader in forging ahead with proven, contemporary solutions to incarceration that do not heavily favor the privileged.

Join JusticeLA and sign this petition to Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl demanding that she take a leadership role and scrap the building project and bring true reform to L.A. County jails!


JusticeLA is a broad coalition of organizations, activists and impacted community members, calling for a moratorium on jail construction and expansion in Los Angeles County in order to reclaim, reimagine and reinvest in the promise of diversion and re-entry. The coalition was founded by Patrisse Cullors, Californians United for Responsible Budget, Community Coalition, Dignity and Power Now, Immigrant Youth Coalition, Revolve Impact, TransLatin@ Coalition and Youth Justice Coalition.

To Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl:

Stop supporting the wasteful, unnecessary, and misguided investment of $3.5 billion to build two new jails in Los Angeles County. Increasing incarceration levels has no proven effect on decreasing the crime rate. Instead you should back far more effective, proven initiatives such as bail system reform and community-based alternatives.