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Hunger Strike at Two Santa Clara County Jails
by Prison Reform Advocate
Thursday Apr 19th, 2018 2:48 AM
On April 15, Prisoners United of Silicon Valley started a peaceful protest to demand humane treatment in the jails. Their hunger strike is the third in two years to protest substandard jail conditions and a lack of opportunity to move out of isolation.
Inmates at two Santa Clara County jails are holding a hunger strike to protest inmate isolation and basic sanitation.

The hunger strike officially began Sunday April 15th at the Main Jail in San Jose and at the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas. Silicon Valley De-Bug organizer Jose Valle said inmate concerns are the backbone of any jail reforms that get implemented in the county.

Inmates have long spoken out about how they are classified and placed into restrictive housing including virtual solitary confinement that consists of 22 hours a day of cell time. “There is no consistency,” Valle told the Mercury News. “You don’t know how long you’re going to be in restrictive housing. There’s no clear understanding.”

Inmate coalition Prisoners United of Silicon Valley, backed by local civil-rights groups, sent a letter to the Sheriff’s Office late last month stating demands. They said that prisoners were not given sufficient cleaning supplies nor were they given enough allotted time to clean up their housing areas. “Cleaning, believe it or not, is a privilege there,” Valle said. Prisoners United is a self organized group of incarcerated individuals inside Santa Clara County Jails.

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