Issues & Campaigns

Rebuild Our Criminal Justice System

Bishop Cornelius Bowser speaks to the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board about how racial profiling impacts our communities.

"When social injustice happens, people of faith have a moral obligation to respond."  Bishop Bowser

Our Vision

A reformed criminal justice system that no longer disproportionally imprisons people of color.

Our Major Victories   

  • Reforming our broken bail system
    Too often in California, people who are arrested -- but not convicted of a crime -- spend weeks, months or even years locked in jail while awaiting the resolution of their case. In 2017, we supported the California Money Bail Reform Act (AB 42 and SB10) to ensure that no one is unfairly kept in jail while awaiting trial just because they can't afford bail. We are also pushing the County of San Diego to fully fund pretrial services.
  • Positive Youth Justice
    Across California, our black and brown youth are arrested and detained at a disproportional rate, compared to white youth. We're partnering with MidCity CAN and the ACLU with the support of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative and the Sierra Health Foundation to build a fair and effective juvenile justice system that is aligned with the developmental needs of our young people. We support efforts to expand restorative justice programs in schools and push for policy and systemic reforms that limit the detention of non-violent offenders.
  • Ending gun violence and mass incarceration
    We partnered with PICO California and the Community Action Support Team (CAST) for a campaign called LiveFREE/HEAT, which works to end gun violence, mass incarceration and the criminalization of black and brown citizens. Together, we are impacting policies and practices that perpetuate these issues. The work includes providing police officer training and community outreach, in order to develop local solutions and strengthen trust between law enforcement and San Diego's diverse communities.
  • Uniting our communities after the Alfred Alongo shooting
    In the aftermath of the Alfred Alongo shooting in El Cajon (an unarmed black man fatally shot by police), we organized an interfaith prayer vigil and peaceful march attended by more than 500 people. We led a rally to demand the release of police video footage of the shooting, and we pushed to require police officers to receive specialized training in how to handle individuals with mental issues.

Our Fight

We're dismantling unfair and racist systems that disproportionately criminalize and imprison people of color in our communities.  When fewer people are unfairly held in local prison, jail and juvenile facilities, we can re-invest the resulting savings into prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.