On Monday, State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) reintroduced SB 42, the “Getting Home Safe Act,” to curtail dangerous, dead-of-night releases from county jails. Skinner proposed the bill in response to the tragic death of Jessica St. Louis (who was one of her constituents). She was released from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail at 1:25 in the morning on July 28th, 2018.
Senator Skinner’s office coordinated with members of the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition (part of the Young Women’s Freedom Center) to develop the provisions contained in SB 42.
With this legislation, California will lead the way in ending this unsafe practice of releasing our sisters in the middle of the night without the support they need.
Here's what SB 42 will do:
- Ensure that women can elect to be released from county jails during the daytime
- Allow folks to make at least three phone calls from the county jail
- Give access to a cell phone charging station
- Help enroll them in rehabilitative programs
- Give women access to transportation or a safe place to wait
- Although county jails can't involuntarily hold someone beyond their release time, SB 42 will require that those scheduled to be released after business hours or sunset (whichever is later) be given the option to remain in the facility until the following day. If they decline, they must be provided a safe place to wait for pickup and/or free transportation to a location of their choice within the county or a 100-mile radius.
Additionally, SB 42 will create a Late-Night Release Prevention Task Force, made up of women, girls and others formerly incarcerated, to study and report back on the issues of late-night releases and the implementation of the Getting Home Safe Act.
Here's what you can do:
- Send a letter in support of SB 42 to Nancy Skinner's office
Click here to access a sample support letter. All you have to do is cut and paste the text onto your own letterhead and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share this SB 42 Fact Sheet with your networks
- Become a member of the Sister Warrior Freedom Coalition so that we can continue to work together to make sure all California's are safe to be free.