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:

  1. 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 krea@youngwomenfree.org.
  2. Share this SB 42 Fact Sheet with your networks
  3. 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.

Jessica Nowlan

Executive Director

Over 20 years ago, I came to the Center right out of juvenile hall. I was looking for a job and I heard they hired folks like me - sisters navigating the juvenile justice system, poverty, homelessness, and intimate partner violence. I became a Community Health Outreach Worker and stayed for 7 years, until I became the Deputy Director. I had to leave for awhile when life threw me some highs (having my kids, starting a successful business, winning some big entrepreneur awards) and some serious lows. But I came back. I came back because the Center was where I learned to own my power. I came back because, with no formal education, the Center had me reading bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and Paolo Friere. Through the Center, I declared my expertise and learned how to cultivate space for other leaders to emerge. Since coming back as the Executive Director in 2017, I have grown the Center to be a multi-million dollar organization in several locations throughout California. I am here because, everyday, I see more and more women, girls, and gnc folks growing into their leadership and building a better world for all of us.

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