As of January 25th 2022, there are 5,374 incarcerated people in California with active COVID cases and 4,764 staff. 246 incarcerated people and 50 staff have lost their lives due to the virus. Beyond the numbers, our community behind bars (including those in jails and ICE detention centers) continue to endure mental health crises, grief and trauma after nearly two years of incarceration during a global pandemic. Though the Omicron surge may appear to be leveling off across the state, it’s only begun to affect our state prisons.
We are witnessing the direct impact of overcrowded prisons (CDCR is currently 111.6% above capacity) and Governor Gavin Newsom’s opposition to the court ordered vaccine mandate for all prison staff. We need to prioritize the health and safety of our incarcerated community members. We need #ReleasesNow.
Organizational Sign On Letter
The #StopSanQuentinOutbreak Coalition drafted two sign-on letters, calling on Governor Newsom and CDCR Secretary Allison to grant urgent releases in response to the latest wave of COVID-19 outbreaks across California state prisons. Read the Letters Here
Use this email and call script to advocate to CDCR Secretary Allison and the Ombudsman for urgent releases.
Share the Habeas Survey Report
Following the Habeas evidentiary hearing, we gathered thoughts and direction from people incarcerated at San Quentin. Insights from this survey help us understand the current conditions of confinement at San Quentin State Prison.
Graphics & Tweets
For Twitter sized graphics and image descriptions, click here
Incarcerated people across California state prisons are experiencing another COVID surge because CDCR staff refuse to get vaccinated #StopCDCROutbreak #ReleasesNow bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
As of January 24 there are over 5,500 active COVID cases among incarcerated people and 4,676 among prison staff in California. #ReleasesNow bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
At Pelican Bay State Prison, 81% of incarcerated people are vaccinated, but only 49% of staff. Incarcerated people are paying for CDCR’s negligence. #ReleasesNow #StopCDCROutbreak bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
2 judges found the CDCR violated the 8th Amendment during the 2020 San Quentin Outbreak. Now, prisons across the state are experiencing another outbreak. Governor Newsom is STILL opposing the court ordered vaccine mandate for prison staff. We need #ReleasesNow. #StopCDCROutbreak, bit.ly/VaxArticle
Unvaccinated correctional officers and overcrowded prisons are putting our incarcerated community members across California in danger of COVID AGAIN. #ReleasesNow #StopCDCROutbreak bit.ly/VaxArticle
“I feel like I’m being locked down because people don’t wanna take the vaccine.”-Rahsaan Thomas, Ear Hustle host, San Quentin State Prison. bit.ly/VaxArticle
“What happened the first time around was a travesty. What’s going to happen the second time around?” – Daniel Alem, San Quentin State Prison.
“What I need for my health, wellbeing and safety is my freedom.” – Person incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison #ReleasesNow #StopCDCROutbreak bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
“This prison is almost 180 years old, the whole area is full of lead and asbestos. There’s constant maintenance issues. Freedom after 27 years would certainly help my health and safety and wellbeing tremendously.” – Person incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison #ReleasesNow #StopCDCROutbreak
Reducing overcrowding in prisons is the only actual public health solution to the COVID outbreak and protecting our incarcerated community members. CDCR must reduce the population, we need #ReleasesNow. bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
Incarcerated people are dying of #COVID at 5x the rate of staff. We need #ReleasesNow bit.ly/CDCROutbreakToolkit
As of Jan. 19, there have been 58,490 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the CDCR system, of which 5,960 are active in custody. There have been 246 COVID-related deaths thus far.
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Since March, 42,094 incarcerated people and at least 13,284 prison workers have tested positive.
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The new Omicron variant, which reportedly broke out in SQ’s Alpine and H-Units early January, is now spreading throughout the North and West Block housing units even though the prison was placed on a 15-day lockdown last week along with other California prisons..
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The legal team that filed the habeas petitions for incarcerated people at San Quentin State Prison have created this updated habeas petition template, specific to the Omicron outbreak. This source is specific to people at San Quentin State Prison. We will share a statewide resource once available.