Care First Community Coalition


The Care First Community Coalition is a collective of mental health advocates, abolitionist organizers, survivors of incarceration, systems-impacted family members and faith leaders who are organizing to decarcerate Santa Rita Jail and implement healing justice-centered solutions. Restore Oakland Inc. is the backbone organization of the Care First Community Coalition–providing strategic leadership, dedicated grassroots organizing staff, and infrastructure support.

We prioritize building the leadership of working-class Black and Brown people–organizing alongside community members who are impacted by the criminal-legal system and behavioral health needs.

We seek to directly address the anti-Blackness that perpetuates the disproportionate targeting and drastic overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal-legal system.

Through budget and policy advocacy, we push to hold Alameda County accountable to creating a Behavioral Health System that provides holistic care, while keeping our loved ones in our community.

We organize in active resistance to Alameda County’s violent systems of criminalization and incarceration, demanding care not cages and house keys not handcuffs!


How is Care First, Jails Last a Healing Justice agenda?

While overarching systems of capitalism, racism, patriarchy and punishment coalesce to unnaturally increase stress and decrease collective safety for all of us, these oppressive systems disproportionately and acutely harm Black and Brown working-class people who experience mental health crises or substance use issues.

Healing Justice affirms that the physical and mental wellbeing of Black and Brown people must itself be central goal in order for our advocacy efforts to be generative. We cannot heal while still experiencing continuous harm, and so we must find creative ways to collectively care for each other and return to our wholeness.

The Care First Solution:

Access to high-quality behavioral healthcare within our communities is integral to the safety and wellbeing of all residents, and greatly reduces the risk of criminalization and incarceration.

CFCC is focused on strategically coordinating and expanding a continuum of care for all Alameda County residents with behavioral health needs. It is for this reason that we call on the County to divest from the systems that cage and criminalize our community members, and to invest in holistic healthcare, housing, and life-affirming resources that create true safety and healing for Alameda County residents.


Of people in Santa Rita Jail are diagnosed with a behavioral health disorder


Won in 2023 for mental health and housing investments in Alameda County


Our holistic vision for Care First investments in Alameda County



The Care First Community Coalition meets every other Thursday from 4:00-5:30pm on Zoom.

Please reach out to Joy (she/her) for meeting details.


To stay in the loop about CFCC actions and advocacy opportunities, join the CFCC Rapid Responders Network.

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If you are formerly incarcerated, have a loved one inside, or a behavioral health worker, we would love to build with you through our weekly circle practice.

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