Court Hearing in Ashker v. Governor of California

12 P.M. / 1 P.M.
Friday, February 23, 2018
450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102

Or watch here on Facebook Live on Friday!

Please join LSPC, CCR, and partners in court for oral argument in Ashker v. Governor of California, a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison and throughout the state.

Ashker settled in 2015, and in the years since settlement, the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel have been monitoring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as it ends longterm indeterminate solitary confinement. In the course of that monitoring, CCR developed evidence that many class members have been released to “general population” units where have been forced to spend as much or more time locked in their cells as when they were in solitary, with little to no rehabilitative or educational programming. 

On February 23, CCR cooperating counsel Jules Lobel will be arguing a motion challenging these SHU-like general population units as a violation of the settlement agreement.

A rally preceding the hearing will start at 12:00 P.M. PST outside the courthouse, and will conclude at 12:40 to allow time to enter the building. The hearing will begin at 1 P.M.

Please arrive early to clear through security. ID is required to enter the courthouse.

ACTION ALERT: Restore the right to serve on a jury to Californians with felony convictions!


Tell your Assemblymember to vote yes on AB 535!

Currently, California law allows people with felony convictions to vote and to become attorneys, yet it permanently bans people with even one felony from serving on a jury. The right to serve on a jury is an important badge of citizenship – one that California currently denies to about 4 million people. Because of racial inequality in the criminal legal system, current law ensures that people of color in particular will have less access to the jury box and systematically prevents us from having juries that fairly and accurately reflect the makeup of our communities.

AB 535 would automatically restore the right to serve on a jury in California to people with felony convictions, once they are finished with parole or Post Release Community Supervision. The bill needs to pass out of the Assembly by next week to survive the 2018 legislative cycle.

Please call these target Assemblymembers from NOW UNTIL MONDAY MORNING (1/29) and tell them to VOTE YES ON AB 535! If you live in one of the districts below, be sure to mention when you call that you are a constituent of the member and you support jury service for people with convictions!

  • Assemblymember Burke; (916) 319-2062 ; District 62 (Western and Southern LA)
  • Assemblymember Cooley;(916) 319-2008; District 08 (Eastern Sacramento)
  • Assemblymember Daly; (916) 319-2069; District 69 (Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana)
  • Assemblymember Garcia; (916) 319-2056 ; District 56 (Imperial County and Coachella Valley)
  • Assemblymember Grayson; (916) 319-2014; District 14 (Parts of Contra Costa and Solano Counties)
  • Assemblymember Low; (916) 319-2028; District 28 (Western Santa Clara County)
  • Assemblymember Medina; (916) 319-2061; District 61 (Riverside County)
  • Assemblymember Rodriguez; (916) 319-2052; District 52 (Pomona, Chino, Montclair, Ontario)
  • Assemblymember Rubio; (916) 319-2048; District 48 (Eastern San Gabriel Valley)

Thank you for your support!!!

WEBINAR: Best Practices for Providing Legal Services and Legal Education in Prisons and Jails

Thu, November 2, 12pm – 1pm


Attorneys from Bay Area Legal Aid, Harriett Buhai Center on Family Law, Root and Rebound, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children will share best practices and creative strategies for providing legal information and services to incarcerated people. Presenters will share experiences from their work providing family law classes, wide-breadth re-entry legal information, and individual representation in SSI/SSDI applications to show the many types of legal-aid related needs incarcerated people have and some of the different strategies organizations can use to meet those needs. Panelists will discuss lessons learned in working with jail administrators, county employees, and the unique challenges and benefits of the jail setting to best connect with, represent, and teach incarcerated clients and participants.

1 hour of general CLE.

Presenter: Eva DeLair, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Rachel Hoerger, Bay Area Legal Aid
Emily Juneau, Root & Rebound
Holly Leonard, Harriett Buhai Center For Family Law


Prisoners United Hunger Strike Press Conference

Oakland, CA– On Tuesday morning, October 16, 2017 at 10am, Communities United For Restorative Youth Justice with the support of A.L. Costa Development Center and Silicon Valley De-Bug is holding a press conference in solidarity with Prisoners United who began a hunger strike Sunday, October 15th. Community supporters and local media will gather in front of the Board of Supervisors Building in downtown Oakland, 1225 Oak street.

1. End Indefinite Solitary Confinement/Administrative Segregation.
2. End Subjective Grievance Practices.
3. End Abuse of Discretion to Lockdown Unstructured Programming (Time Out of Cell).
4. End Insufficient and Unsanitary Clothing.
5. End Insufficient Food and Starvation for Indigent Prisoners.

Webinar: Conquering Court Debt – Monday 10/16

WHEN: 12 – 1 P.M. Monday, October 16, 2017

Having unpaid court debt or a suspended driver’s license can destabilize many other areas of a low income client’s life, from parenting responsibilities to employment options to housing security. California has some of the most expensive court fines and fees in the country, but now a new set of laws and rules are available to help protect indigent people and their families.

Join this webinar to learn practical tools for advocating that local courts consider low income court users’ “ability to pay” and stop suspending driver’s licenses as a means of debt collection! Find out about the new Back on the Road “Ability to Pay” Implementation Toolkit for Advocates!

Brittany Stonesifer — Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Theresa Zhen — East Bay Community Law Center
Devon Porter — ACLU of Southern California

Free CLE credit available.
Hosted by Legal Aid Association of California.


Action Alert: FINAL WEEK!! Call Governor Brown 916.445.2841 & Urge Him To Sign AB1008 the Ban The Box / Fair Chance Hiring Act!


AB1008 (McCarty) will remove barriers to employment for millions of Californians with conviction histories. We already have Ban the Box policies in the public sector—AB1008 will extend Fair Chance Hiring to private employers, allowing people access to meaningful employment and opportunity to support their families, pay taxes, and contribute to their communities.

Join John Legend, Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, and call Gov. Brown 916.445.2841 & urge him to sign AB1008 the Ban the Box / Fair Chance Hiring bill before the Oct. 15 deadline!

Feel free to distribute these through your social media networks:




AOUON-Logo-Circle w SpanishAnd thank YOU for taking the time to support AB 1008 (McCarty) and all the current and formerly incarcerated people and our family members.

Keep up the fight!

For more information about our Ban the Box Campaign, check out our Toolkit here!






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Action Alert: TODAY!! Tell Assemblymember Jim Frazier To Support SB 237 And Restore 200,000 Drivers Licenses to Poor Californians!

Although the Governor ended the unjust practice of using license suspension to force low-income people to pay expensive tickets earlier this year, nearly 200,000 people were left out because their licenses were already suspended for missing a payment before the Governor acted.

To solve this problem, Senator Hertzberg just amended SB 237 into a bill that will clarify that the Governor’s license suspension repeal also applies to the 200,000 Californians who had their licenses suspended before the governor acted in June. Fact sheet here.

We need YOUR HELP to get SB 237 passed by calling Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Jim Frazier TODAY at 916.319.2011 and have him tally your support for the bill. 

Feel free to use this sample script:

Hello, my name is _____________, from [town/organization/office].

I am calling in support of SB 237, which would restore the licenses of people who missed a payment in traffic court. 

Earlier this year, the Governor decided to stop the practice of suspending the licenses of people who are too poor to afford California’s expensive traffic tickets

Now, the DMV is unfairly keeping 200,000 people’s licenses suspended just because they happened to miss their payment before the Governor took action. 

These people could be jailed at any moment just for driving to work or driving a family member to school or a medical appointment. 

Punishing the poor is not the way to keep our streets safe.

Please pass SB 237 and add me to the support tally you keep for your member. 

Thank you.

AOUON-Logo-Circle w SpanishAnd thank YOU for taking the time to support SB237 (Hertzberg) and stop the criminalization of poverty.

Keep up the fight!

Check out more of our Economic Justice / Fines & Fees work here!