Say NO to the Expansion of Musick Jail!

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The following announcement is from Transforming Justice OC (TJOC.)  We think it’s important to highlight this issue (and event) here because apparently not even all Supervisorial candidates are aware of the issue, let alone the general public:

Over the last decade, California and Orange County voters have sent a clear and consistent message in support of criminal justice reform.

Despite this, people with mental health diagnoses and those battling with substance use disorder continue to be overpoliced and criminalized. Since 2015, the Orange County jail system has experienced a 40% increase in mental health cases. Currently, 30% of the jail population requires various levels of mental health services.

To address this, the county plans to expand the Musick facility in Irvine. The expansion would add 896 beds, a majority slated to be mental health beds, boosting the jail’s capacity from roughly 1,300 to 2,200. Operating costs are estimated between $61.5 to $62.5 million in addition to construction costs between $167 to $203 million. Instead of wasting resources on bigger jails, we need to invest in community-based services and programs that reduce the jail population and support community wellbeing.

This Wednesday, February 26, OC supervisors will receive and publicly read bids for the construction phase of the expansion plan.  We will be rallying beforehand, and you are invited to join us.

Relying on incarceration is both costly and ineffective. Substance use and mental health disorders are public health issues not criminal justice issues. Studies have shown that incarcerated people with mental health issues wind up getting worse while behind bars. In jail they are at a higher risk of victimization, including sexual assault and abuse, than the general jail population, and tend to experience longer stays.

Groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness have long supported diversion as the primary policy response to the overcriminalization and incarceration of people with serious mental health diagnoses.

It is time OC elected officials leverage their legal authority and political influence in order to fund policies and practices that reduce the county’s jail population, increase public health and safety, stop the revolving door of incarceration, and treat people with dignity and respect.

What can you do to help?

1. Rally with TJOC this Wednesday, 2/26, 1:00 pm at the Hall of Administration in Santa Ana (see below)
2. Call, email or write your supervisor and urge them to introduce or support action to stop the expansion of the Musick facility
3. Connect with TJOC to learn more about ongoing and upcoming efforts


Join Transforming Justice Orange County (TJOC) this Wednesday at 1pm to demand county supervisors halt the plan to expand the James A. Musick jail facility.  This is the afternoon that OC supervisors will receive and publicly read bids for the construction phase of the expansion plan.


The rally will take place outside the Hall of Administration, located on the corner of Santa Ana Boulevard and Broadway. Parking is available in the structure across the street from the Hall of Administration for $2/hour.


About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.