UPDATE AND REPORTBACK
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to make calls on Friday. The phone zap was certainly successful in making them feel the pressure. People were answering grumpy and sending calls to voicemail before 1pm. The voicemail system for reporting misconduct to OIG was filled to the brim.
About 85% of CSATF has now been tested according to the COVID tracker. While COVID numbers have gone down according to the tracker, we know that they move people to the “resolved” list automatically after two weeks without retesting.There are some signals that minimal programming might be returning, but with really severe time restrictions. For example, they are given 45 minutes in the rec room during which time they have to choose between a phone call where they have to pack together in a crowded space, 20 minutes at a kiosk to access the library, or 5 minutes in a dirty communal shower. On Friday they also allowed workers to hand out cleaning supplies, albeit very watered down, for the first time in months. It is likely that at least some of these changes can be contributed to our pressure. In any case we must continue to push.
The hunger strikers have been interviewed by a Lieutenant who offered nothing, and refused to accept their written statement regarding the strike, and asked for them to be patient with the system as they figure out what to do. Their response, “I find it alarming that the State wants to claim Innocence in this entire ordeal, but on the contrary, the State is 100% liable. They would like to have prisoners be very understanding, but WE ain’t understanding shit but the Evacuation of These Prisons.” They are entering their eleventh day on hunger strike and we will keep diligently posted on their next move.
Finally two updates regarding the overall conditions at CSATF. 1) rain has started in Corcoran which means widespread flooding in CSATF. We have been following prisoners attempts to get the institution to address the flooding in these facilities and the subsequent mold for YEARS, and so far nothing has been done. 2) On saturday a group of several prisoners who had positive COVID-19 cases were brought into F yard, left there for about 4 hours and then taken out with officials claiming that it was a “mistake.”
CDCr still continues behaving with reckless disregard for the human beings that it is keeping caged. There are precious few ways that people inside can get the word out and exert pressure on the system. You taking the time to make those calls, and to keep spreading the word is deeply appreciated inside and out. Thank you.
CSATF is an enormous, but not well known prison adjacent to Corcoran State Prison. It alone is currently the largest prison in the state by population and is experiencing the second COVID-19 outbreak in as many months. In the last two weeks there have been nearly 400 new cases, roughly a THIRD of all tests administered in that time. Despite the heightened dangers people have still been sent to work assignments, including the central kitchen. Some have reported not being given their test results, others notice people with negative and positive results being forced to mix and unable to distance. Lunches have been reduced to cheese and crackers.
In addition to the dangers, prisoners continue to face an array of restrictions on basic necessities. To list just a few: No access to cleaning supplies, fresh laundry, hot meals, telephone, canteen, or packages. They also continue to go without regular program, law library access, and visits, and can only show every three days. Four prisoners from the yard in the center of the outbreak have chosen to call attention to the issue by beginning a hunger strike. That is entering its eighth day. Their demands are 1) Universal and voluntary testing available to everyone in the facility with results provided immediately, 2) Restore safe programing and basic necessities namely law library, access to telephones, showers, dormitory cleaning supplies, hot meals, and canteen. 3) Create mechanisms of accountability by which independent family and supporters on the outside have visibility on CDCr’s plans and actions during and after an outbreak like this.
Speak up to get attention on this!! This is also a media blast!! Share widely across your networks and try to get this the same level of attention that we got on San Quentin in the Summer.
Hi my name is ______________ (you don’t have to give your real name. I want to know what your office intends to do about the COVID 19 outbreak happening in CSATF? A THIRD of the people tested are sick. Despite endless statewide demands people are still being kept in unsafe and meager conditions. And your guards and staff people are bringing in the virus, since there’s been no visits for several months. People in your facility are demanding 1) Universal and voluntary testing for everyone in your facility. Tell people their results immediately and let them plan for their safety. 2) Restore safe programing and basic necessities namely law library, access to telephones, showers, dormitory cleaning supplies, hot meals, and canteen. 3) Create mechanisms of accountability by which independent family and supporters on the outside have visibility on CDCr’s plans and actions during and after an outbreak like this.
Acting Warden Theresa Cisneros – (559) 992-7100 ext. 5507
CDCr Secretary Kathleen Allison – (916) 323-6001 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Inspector General (Misconduct Voicemail system) – (800) 700-5952