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Indybay Feature
Wed Feb 4 2015 (Updated 02/17/15)
Hundreds March for Freedom at Cages Kill Rally in Santa Cruz
Six People Have Died in the Santa Cruz County Jail Since August of 2012
At least six people have died in the Santa Cruz County Jail since August of 2012 while in the hands of the Sheriff’s Department and California Forensics Medical Group (CFMG). In light of the most recent death in November 2014, community-based organization Sin Barras, which fights to abolish prisons and the prison industrial-complex, held a demonstration on January 24 in downtown Santa Cruz.

After a year-long investigation of deaths in the jail, prompted by public criticism and concern, the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released a report including recommendations to improve physical and mental health conditions in the jail. One of the Grand Jury’s conclusions was that CFMG staff failed to identify and treat symptoms of methadone overdose, and had insufficient oversight and treatment facilities for people in the supposedly monitored units. The Sheriff's Department and CFMG have publicly disagreed with almost all the findings of the report, and since then, another person has died.

Hundreds of people came together to protest and raise awareness around the deaths, to highlight the broader context of overcrowding and lack of healthcare inside California jails and prisons, and create a space for community empowerment. Speakers, including Fox Sloan, mother of Amanda Fox Sloan, who died in the jail July of 2013, shared personal stories which shed light on the violence of the prison system and strategies for building alternative forms of justice.

imc_photo.gif Read More with Photos | imc_photo.gif video audio Video, Audio & More Photos | Sin Barras | See Also: Cages Kill! — Freedom Rally & March in Santa Cruz

Previous Coverage: One More Death at Santa Cruz County Jail Makes Six In Two Years || Grand Jury Report on Jail Deaths Only a Snapshot of the Larger Picture || Fight Against Prison Expansion Continues at Statewide Actions Opposing Gov's Budget Revise || Santa Cruz Residents Urge County to Reject State Grant Awarded for Jail Expansion || Sin Barras Rally at SC County Jail Held in Response to Recent Deaths at Facility
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