PHONE ZAP Supporting Hunger Strikers in Santa Rita Jail:  Friday, January 28

We are calling on all of you to support the hunger strikers in Santa Rita Jail. Phone zap coming up this Friday!

Prisoners are protesting price gouging by the Sheriff, as well as poor quality food and small portions that are used to drive hungry people to spend money on commissary. Show them that they have our support! 
We are calling on all of you to support the hunger strikers in Santa Rita Jail. Phone zap coming up this Friday!

Prisoners are protesting price gouging by the Sheriff, as well as poor quality food and small portions that are used to drive hungry people to spend money on commissary. Show them that they have our support! 


Background  
On Dec. 27, 2021, the price of commissary items increased by 20% or more. The Sheriff gets 40% of the profit from prisoners and their families who are struggling during the pandemic. The jail claims there is no hunger strike, but prisoners say Deputies have retaliated against them and refused to document the protest. With a simple majority, AC Supervisors can reduce prices and make commissary not for profit.

Demands
– Stop profiteering off of prisoners. 
– Strip the Sheriff’s power to raise prices. 
– Stop the for-profit Santa Rita jail kitchen run by Aramark Correctional Services. 
– Increase portion sizes.


On Friday. January 28th, call the Board of Supervisors and urge them to take action!


– Dave Brown (Alameda, East Oakland): (510) 272-6693; (510) 278-0367

– Keith Carson (Berkeley, parts of Oakland): (510) 272-6695; (510) 272-6685

– David Haubert (Livermore, parts of Dublin): (510) 272-6691; (925) 551-6995

– Nate Miley (Deep East, parts of Pleasanton): (510) 272-6694; (510) 670-5717

– Richard Valle (Hayward, Union City, Newark, Fremont): (510) 271-5115; (510) 670-6150



Sample script
I am calling to express my concern that prisoners in Santa Rita Jail are paying unreasonably high prices for items they use to survive. Prisoners are currently on hunger strike to protest the Dec. 27 price increase. Sacrificing their health is their only recourse because when they complain, the jail says “don’t buy the food,” but prisoners are fed small portions of beans and soy every day leaving them hungry and forcing their families to spend money. Why is Santa Rita Jail profiting off of prisoners and their families during a pandemic? When will the Board of Supervisors take action to reduce prices and make commissary not for profit? The Board should audit SRJ and hold a public hearing. Thank you for your time.”


Talking points and rebuttals from prisoners currently on strike

“Commissary profit goes to inmate welfare fund.”
Show us the proof by auditing SRJ. There are no programs or classes at SRJ aside from 1 GED course.

“There is no hunger strike.”
We know the jail is logging meal refusals and taking vitals. KTVU covered the strike on 1/18.

“Sheriff doesn’t control the prices.”
Why was coffee, the most popular item, raised the most? And of course they have say over prices. So do the Supervisors.

“Price increase was to account for inflation.” 
All prices increased by more than 5% 

How did it go?
Send in those Phone Zap reportbacks:
email admin@oaklandabosol.org or twitter @oaklandabosol
or put it in the comments here!

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