On March 20, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and Health Services Agency submitted a surprise proposal to add $85 million a year for three years to hire hundreds of new sheriff deputies and other staff at Santa Rita Jail (SRJ). On April 24, the Sheriff increased the proposal to $106 million a year for 456 new staff for the jail - 349 for the Sheriff’s Office and 107 for Behavioral Health staff. (ACSO currently has 615 funded jail staff positions.)

We feel that this proposal is an outrageous and cynical money grab for a variety of reasons. Sheriff Ahern’s budget is already grossly bloated with virtually no oversight. As prisoner population at Santa Rita decreases, Ahern’s demands for money only rises. Concerned citizens and organizations have for some time requested an audit of the Sheriff’s budget, which the Sheriff and Alameda County Supervisors have resisted. (For more info click:) Audit Ahern

Our friends at American Friends Service Committee have prepared a detailed explanation of 10 reasons to oppose new jail funding and invest in community-based mental health instead. (For more info click:) No New Jail Funding

Please contact your Supervisor to request they vote no on the Sheriff’s latest money grab. In addition to the Supervisor of your district, please also contact Supervisor Valle, the current Board President. Contact info here: Alco Supervisors