By Amika Mota
For people incarcerated in local jails across California, getting out can be as dangerous as going in. One reason: dead-of-night release policies that push you out on the street in the dark with no support.
But last week, California took an important step toward making sure people who are leaving jail can get home safe. Earlier this week, the California Legislature approved SB 42, the Getting Home Safe Act. It now awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature. The bill seeks to ensure that those incarcerated in California jails can find the support they need at the time of their release to get home safe.
It’s a critical step toward safety and dignity for women, girls, and transgender and gender-nonconforming people who face the highest risk under current policies. And it’s about time. SB 42 was spurred by the tragic death of Jessica St. Louis, released from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail at 1:25 a.m., on July 28, 2018, and found dead hours later.