Research Reports



Invest in People, Not Prisons: Building Strategic Capacity to End Mass Incarceration in Contra Costa County and California
Mass incarceration presents one of the great threats to the future of American democracy and shared prosperity. At the same time, this crisis presents a tremendous opportunity to build strategic alliances that can help to transform our region, state and country. Today, more than half of California’s counties are investing funding they received from the state to build or expand their local jails. Contra Costa County is the first county in the state of California to defeat a proposed jail expansion and has invested in an ambitious strategy to build pathways to self-sufficiency and lifelong liberty that shuts the revolving door to prison. We believe that there are a set of learnings from the organizing and movement-building experience in Contra Costa County that can help to inform a powerful movement to dismantle mass incarceration and expand freedom and opportunity to the most marginalized communities in California. It is critical to understand that the current conditions are not natural, rational, inevitable or sustainable. They can only be resolved by a sustained confrontation and dialogue about our values and commitment to live in a multiracial and equitable democracy. This is not a technical challenge about planning and policy, but rather a more fundamental confrontation with the essential questions of racial equity, control, and power in California.


Alive, Free, and United: A Community-Driven Strategy to Save Lives and Build Opportunity in Richmond by Reducing Gun Violence and Ending Mass Incarceration & Mass Deportation
We stand at a watershed moment in the history of the city of Richmond. A once proud and purposeful city that was a model for the country, Richmond has been burdened in recent times by the scourge of disinvestment and violence. In recent years, a new spirit of hope and resilience has taken root.Richmond is once again being looked at as a model for progressive and innovative strategies to expand opportunity.


Speaking Truth About Coming Home: Research, Findings and Recommendations on Reentry in Richmond
This historic report was compiled by a team of formerly incarcerated Richmond residents through the Safe Return Project launched by CCISCO, Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety, and the Pacific Institute. The Safe Return Team developed research questions, participated in the design of the survey questionnaire, hosted focus groups and interviews with residents and service providers, and met with parole, probation, and other agencies involved in reentry. The result of their hard work is reflected in this report through their research, key findings, and recommendations for a safe return for formerly incarcerated Richmond residents.


Big Banks Bonus Bonanza
A report put together by National People’s Action, PICO National Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Service Employees’ International Union, and the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations .Wall Street is at it again in 2010, after paying out all-time record bonuses last year. The top six banks alone are on track to pay out $143 billion in bonuses and compensation this year, more than enough money to fill the entire $130 billion budget gap for every state in the country for FY 2011.


Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
This report by the Center for American Progress details the economic impact of immigration reform.


Bank Accountability: The Key to Keeping Families in their Homes
Despite billions and billions of dollars of taxpayer investment and subsidy, banks are still moving slowly and stubbornly to restructure loans and prevent the over-whelming tide of foreclosures. This report examines the lack of accountability of banks to help families stay in their homes.


PICO California Citizenship & Civic Engagement Initiative: 2008 – 2009 Year One Report
This report highlights some of the most amazing work conducted by a number of PICO California affiliates during the first year of the “Citizenship & Civic Engagement Initiative.”