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Indybay Feature
Hunger Strike Starts Tonight in Santa Clara County Jail
by via Silicon Valley deBug
Wednesday Jan 13th, 2021 7:56 PM
Prisoners of Santa Clara County Main Jail 7B will be standing in protest in the form of a hunger strike beginning tonight challenging their conditions of confinement and cruel and unusual punishment, specifically the jail and medical staff response towards Covid outbreaks in the jail.

The letter below is from the county jail prisoners to the Jail Administration.
sm_screen_shot_2021-01-13_at_7.56.28_pm.jpg
To Jail Administration and Public Health,

Prisoners of Santa Clara County Main Jail 7B will be standing in protest in the form of a hunger strike beginning tonight January 13th, 2021, challenging our conditions of confinement and cruel and unusual punishment, specifically the jail and medical staff response towards Covid outbreaks in the jail.

The safety guidelines and protocols they violate ( like wearing mask gloves, movement of infected inmates and cleaning violations etc.) which have led to multiple outbreaks in our jail. Their response to these outbreaks were to take our visits, move individuals to unsanitary cells (Some with feces and other bodily fluids) in the jail, lock us down for over 36 hours then give us 30 minutes out to shower exercise use the phone etc.

The Jail Administration would not meet with us to adjust anything and staff would lie about what could and cannot be changed. We need open lines of communication with the Jail Administration who are willing to hear us out and work with us to resolve issues.

As of January 11, 2021 our visits have been canceled with the explanation our county is in the purple tier we aren’t allowed visits. Santa Clara county has been in purple tier since November 17, 2020 and visits were allowed during that time. Visits have not affected the Covid outbreaks. Our visits are behind glass and proper safety protocols are in place to prevent any Covid transmission. Covid has entered our jail and endangered our lives through staff, their negligence and procedure violations.

Our grievance system is biased and broken. The Jail staff responds to grievances on their coworkers they deny or “resolve” our grievances they denied any chance to appeal their actions. This has been an ongoing issue and change is needed by the staff who impose punishment on us for their violations (taking away visits, unnecessary locked down, inmate movement etc.)

The Jail Administration is putting us in an unhealthy situation, they are violating our eighth amendment right. We want our visits and programs back to normal and the staff to follow all safety guidelines immediately.

Our main areas of need for resolution are:

-Having staff follow public health guidelines

-Having visits reinstated

-Clear communication on protocols

-Having grievances and appeals responded to with more substance than “issue resolved”.

[Signed]
Santa Clara County Jails Prisoners
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