Leaders of historical and faith-based institutions representing thousands of community members throughout Los Angeles County have announced their support for the Reform Jails and Community Reinvestment Initiative.

“If you’ve ever been down to the Twin Towers jail in Los Angeles County, you can see clearly the inadequacies that exist and how the lives of our young people who are warehoused there are treated far less than others. Reform L.A. Jails is talking about using dollars for prevention rather than incarceration. Supporting this initiative is what it looks like when the church is a positive vehicle in helping the lives of everyone in the community,” shared Pastor J. Edgar Boyd of First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church in Los Angeles.

Boyd is part of a coalition of supporters that includes Bishop Noel Jones of City of Refuge, Rev. John Edward Cager III of Ward African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Rev. Bernard M. Jackson of Phillips Temple CME Church, and Delores Mission Catholic Church in actively capturing signatures of registered voters in Los Angeles County to achieve the 170,000 signatures needed for Reform L.A. Jails to make it onto the November ballot. In addition, the ballot measure has earned the support of Justice Not Jails–a faith community coalition working against racialized mass incarceration in California–and L.A. Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that works to amplify and unite diverse faith voices to stand-up for what their communities need in L.A. County.

The Reform L.A. Jails initiative aims to rectify L.A. County’s failing mass incarceration system in two ways. First, it will provide subpoena power to the Sheriff’s Department Civilian Oversight Commission, so it can be more than an advisory board and truly serve its purpose as the eyes and ears for accountability. Secondly, it will task the Civilian Oversight Commission with developing a Comprehensive Public Safety Reinvestment Plan to find alternative methods to incarceration that are effective, versus spending the $3.6 billion the county has slated for more jails.

“Los Angeles County is home to the largest jail system in the world. These leaders see firsthand how the injustices of our corrupt jail system are tearing apart families within their congregation. This makes the support of the faith-based community a necessity,” shared Reform L.A. Jails Chair Patrisse Cullors

“Reform L.A. Jails is partnering with major churches in L.A. because we know that this work goes beyond capturing signatures. It’s about the intersection of scripture and strategy that faith based leaders have always had to work from in order to uplift their communities. The long-term solutions we are seeking to our justice system will always require faith to be paired with advocacy,” said Reform L.A. Jails Campaign Director Jasmyne Cannick.

Faith-based institutions or organizations that would like to mobilize their supporters to participate, contact the campaign at www.ReformLAJails.com.