• Decarcerate Sacramento

  • Decarcerate Sacramento is a coalition working to prevent jail expansions, decrease jail populations, and shift county funds away from policing and incarceration towards community-based systems of care that promote community safety and health. 

  • Current Campaigns

    Decarceration & Decriminalization


     Decreasing Sacramento County jail populations requires a plan that prioritizes strengthening networks of care and resources that heal, decrease poverty, prevent harm and increase capacity for diversion from policing and the legal system. 

    We continue work to prevent any type of jail expansion in Sacramento County.

    Budget Transparency and Reinvestment

    Advocating for public spending to be transparent and to be invested in life-affirming human services that promote community safety.

    PreTrial Justice: Ending Pretrial Detention


     Fighting against the growing power of Probation in Pretrial and for Pretrial programs to prioritize supportive community-based services outside of law-enforcement. 

  • Fast Facts


    The percentage of people in Sacramento County Jail who have not been convicted of any crime.


    The population of Black folks in the jail population (the total Black population in Sacramento County is 11%).

    Over 60%

    The number of people in Sacramento County Jail who have been diagnosed with mental illness.

    Over 50%

    The number of people charged with misdemeanors in Sacramento experiencing homelessness.

  • Data Shows: Prevention Works

    Violence is Preventable

    • “Preventing Violence: A Primer”, Prevention Institute, October 2009

      • Key finding: “Prevention programs and strategies have a demonstrated track record in reducing violence.”

    Preventing Gun Violence

      • Key finding: “In cities and neighborhoods across the country, [violence interruption] programs have consistently proven to effectively and efficiently reduce gun violence while also helping people to build healthier, more stable lives.”
      • Also includes data from a national poll showing strong bipartisan support for violence interruption programs.

    Investing in Community Services & Nonprofits Makes Communities Safer

      • Key finding: “Drawing on a panel of 264 cities spanning more than 20 years, we estimate that every 10 additional organizations focusing on crime and community life in a city with 100,000 residents leads to a 9 percent reduction in the murder rate, a 6 percent reduction in the violent crime rate, and a 4 percent reduction in the property crime rate.”

    Access to Affordable Housing Reduces Crime and Recidivism

    • “Can Housing Interventions Reduce Incarceration and Recidivism?”, Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative, February 2019
      • Summary: highlights research that shows that housing stability reduces recorded offenses, but how people exiting the carceral system are 10 times more likely than the general public to become homeless. When people cannot find stable housing, they are more likely to commit new crimes. Also highlights a Housing First model in Wisconsin showing success.

    Access to Health Care Reduces Crime and Recidivism

    Offering Drug Treatment Programs Reduces Crime and is More Cost Effective

    • “Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety”, Justice Policy Institute, January 2008
      • Summary: “Increased investments in drug treatment can yield benefits in public safety, cost savings, and improved lives for individuals. Drug treatment can help people return to employment, education or to become involved in other social activities that build communities and promote public safety… Research cited in this policy brief has shown that the initiation of drug treatment prior to involvement with the criminal justice system is the most beneficial and effective means of delivering services to drug-involved people.”
    • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers and Local Crime. National Bureau of Economic Research. 2016.
      • Key finding: “Substance-abuse-treatment facilities reduce both violent and financially motivated crimes in an area, and that the effects are particularly pronounced for relatively serious crimes.”

    Access to Mental Health Treatment Prevents Crime

      • Summary: highlights findings from a North Carolina State University study, which found “treatment of mental illness can reduce overall arrests and save taxpayers money. Among people with these types of diagnoses, whatever the risk of criminal behavior is, it can be reduced with timely medication and therapy.”

    Building Community Resilience Increases Safety

    Child & Youth Programs Make Communities Safer

    Access to Good Jobs Prevents Crime

      • Key finding: “More than two dozen empirical studies among a variety of adult and young adult populations consistently confirm that labor market success in the form of employment, high wages, job stability, and occupational prestige are correlated with reduced criminal involvement (Crutchfield & Pitchford, 1997; Farrington, Gallagher, Morley, St. Ledger, &West, 1986; Good, Pirog-Good, & Sickles, 1986; Grogger, 1998; Hagan & McCarthy, 1997; Horney, Osgood, & Marshall, 1995; Laub & Sampson 2003; Sampson & Laub, 1993; Thornberry & Christenson, 1984; Uggen, 1999, 2000).”
      • Key finding: “In a randomized controlled trial among 1634 disadvantaged high school youth in Chicago, assignment to a summer jobs program decreases violence by 43% over 16 months (3.95 fewer violent-crime arrests per 100 youth). The decline occurs largely after the 8-week intervention ends. The results suggest the promise of using low-cost, well-targeted programs to generate meaningful behavioral change, even with a problem as complex as youth violence.”
    • “Can Jobs Deter Crime?”, The Atlantic, June 2015
  • Events

    Find out more about Decarcerate Sacramento's calls to action, community forums, and rallies!

    July 19th, 2022

    New Member Orientation

    July 1st, 2022

    Jail Hotline Launch

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

    Sac County Budget Action

    Demand that the Board of Supervisors prioritize investments in community-based care!

    May 10th, 2022

    Demand a Public Health Approach to PreTrial Reform

    April 7th, 2022

    Community Forum:

    Why's the Jail Population So High?

    January 8th, 2022

    A Community Power-Building Project

    (Not Just Another Listening Session)

    June 15, 2020

    Press Conference & Public Comment

    In-Person & Remote Event

    March 31, 2020

    Honk For Justice

    (COVID Safe Car Rally)

  • Our Response To COVID-19



    Our response to COVID-19 was immediate. We sent this letter to the Sheriff’s Department on March 12th, 2020. Following that public statement, we worked to support the Public Defender’s office with their motions that, if approved by a judge, would release hundreds if not thousands. The first motions approved the release of those with less than 60 days on their sentence. The Sacramento County Jail population overall was reduced by over 30% due to COVID-19 related releases. We are demanding that the requirement for people released early to return to finish their sentences be lifted, and that the County focus its efforts on continuing to reduce the jail population.

  • History

    Decarcerate Sacramento formed in response to an $89 million dollar jail expansion planned for the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC). Community members were deeply concerned that this expansion would continue to cause county budget cuts to vital human services. Our goals were clear from the beginning—in addition to preventing the expansion of our jail system, we need sustained decreases in our jail population and a drastic shift in county funding to community-based services that prevent harm. 


    In November of 2019, we successfully convinced the Sacramento County Board of Superivsors to cancel the planned expansion of the RCCC jail. Then, after many more months of research and organizing, the Board cancelled a second, separate plan to build a new jail "annex" in March of 2021. 


    After preventing two jail expansion projects in under two years, Decarcerate Sacramento is now focused primarily on Pre-Trial reform that prioritizes Preserving the Presumption of Innocence (PPI), Alternatives to Incarceration outside of law-enforcement, and shifting county funding priorities towards human services that promote public health and community safety.

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