Support SRJ prisoners in demanding edible, safe food and no retaliation against prisoners for speaking out about the horrific quality of food and unsanitary kitchen conditions!
Thursday, December 3
All Daaaay Longgg!
Quality of food and kitchen sanitation at Santa Rita Jail has been at a crisis point since long before the COVID-19 pandemic. On November 17, 13 prisoners made public declarations about conditions in the kitchen and how they have lost weight due to the small portions and inedible food at the jail. These declarations included widespread reports of unsafe and unsanitary food: food trays not being cleaned properly; spoiled and rotten food; and food contaminated with pieces of metal and plastic, rodents, feces, and cockroaches.
On November 18 Tikisha Upshaw, a prisoner who has previously been targeted by the jail for her activism, was again targeted when Deputies confiscated her commissary and revoked her phone and commissary privileges. Tikisha is the lead plaintiff in Upshaw v. ACSO, regarding long-term, torturous sleep deprivation in Santa Rita.
People need healthy food to sustain themselves and are not receiving it. Aramark’s cost-cutting and lack of quality control puts pressure on people to either starve or buy commissary food, which puts money in the Sheriff’s pocket. Deputies accuse prisoners of stockpiling commissary to further discipline them. Taking food from hungry people is torture.
- No retaliation against Tikisha Upshaw (return the commissary and withdraw the discipline); stop confiscating commissary food as punishment
- Fix the hot water spigots in Housing Unit 24 so that prisoners can properly prepare commissary meals
- A clean and sanitary jail kitchen that is free of animals, birds, rodents, insects and vermin
- Properly cleaned and sanitized dishware and trays
- All food served is edible including: no spoiled food; no food with foreign objects; no food which has been contaminated by animals, birds, rodents, insects and vermin
- All food is properly handled, refrigerated and heated, without excessive heating
- Food trays meet portion size and have all items called for in the menu; food production adheres to menus
- Special diet needs are met
Robin Weiss, Kitchen Manager for Aramark (3rd party contractor for all Santa Rita Jail food):
Ray Kelly, Public Information Officer for Santa Rita Jail (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office):
for Robin Weiss, Kitchen Manager for Aramark:
“I am calling to express my concern that prisoners inside Santa Rita Jail are not being provided with edible, safe food. Aramark has consistently provided trays with unacceptably small portion sizes, as well as food that is contaminated with foreign objects, including pieces of metal, feces, and insects. As a result, prisoners are losing weight and are not receiving the nutrition they need. People with special diets report that Aramark never follows the written menus — yet Aramark is responsible for the quality of food provided inside the jail. This is torture, and is unacceptable. What steps will Aramark, and you specifically, take to remedy this situation?”
for Ray Kelly, Public Information Officer for Santa Rita Jail:
“I am calling to express my concern that prisoners inside Santa Rita Jail are not being provided with edible, safe food. People don’t feel comfortable eating food prepared in the kitchen. When deputies confiscate commissary, this leaves them with no options but to go without food. This is unacceptable. Prisoners are asking that the quality of food is improved, that they be provided with a sufficient amount of food to maintain their health, that the kitchen is inspected, that confiscated commissary food be returned, and that retaliation against prisoners end immediately. What steps is ACSO going to take to ensure these demands are met and that no further retaliation against prisoners occurs? What is ACSO doing to restore Tikisha Upshaw’s privileges?”
Phone Zap Tips
- If they press you to leave your name, know that you don’t have to do that. If you don’t want them to log your phone number you can dial *67 first to hide your number.
- If a line is busy or not picking up, you can move on to the next number or leave a voicemail or circle back after emailing. If the lines are jammed, THAT’S A GOOD THING!
- Tell us how it went — we want to know! Comment here, email us or hit us on our socials!