The purpose of the Care First Community Coalition is to coordinate, advocate, educate, and celebrate a community-centered approach in implementing the Care First, Jails Last policy in Alameda County in California. We are committed to the equity, justice, empowerment, and well-being of ALL county residents and prioritizing uplifting the leadership and needs of working class Black, indigenous, people of color, and people impacted by the criminal legal system and people with behavioral health needs in Alameda County. Living in a culture of white supremacy, anti-Blackness pervades every system within which we operate. Both in Alameda County and nation-wide, Black people are drastically overrepresented and disproportionately at higher risk in our criminal legal system. We seek to address this directly as part of the Care First Community Coalition.
As a multi-issue coalition, we set out with two main areas of focus:
One: Reducing the number of individuals in Santa Rita jail with behavioral health concerns, and preventing the future criminalization and incarceration of individuals with behavioral health concerns with wrap-around care.
Two: Advocating for a county budget that prioritizes and enables our primary goal.
We are committed to implementing the Care First Policy (initially adopted 5/2510/2021 by Alameda County Board of Supervisors) in a community-centered and racially equitable way.