Our Response to COVID-19
We want to keep our Members and followers as informed as possible. As of August 4, 2020, CDCR is reporting that there are 1,288 Incarcerated people who are *currently* positive for COVID-19, inside CA state prisons. There are also 1,892 CDCR/CCHCS Employees who have tested positive, most of whom have returned back to work. In addition, we are sad to learn that there have now been 51 incarcerated peopled and 8 CDCR staff who have passed away from what appear to be from health complications related to COVID-19. We hold these people in our hearts and honor their lives through our work.
We have been tracking changes within CDCR policy very closely and are sharing updates and resources as we receive them. We are unsure of the accuracy of their numbers, but nonetheless this is the most useful resource we have at the moment for the widespread impact of COVID-19 in CA prisons.
To stay updated with the most current changes to their policies and procedures, please reference the following page: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/
In response to Governor Newsom and CDCR’s recent announcement to release 8,000 people by the end of August, our team created a collective statement to express our concerns with these actions. To read the full statement, click HERE.
Initiate Justice has also signed onto many demand letters sent to Governor Newsom, as well as other leaders’ offices in California.
To see a full list of all demand letters we have signed onto:
CDCR COVID-19 Report Card
We’re grading CDCR on their response to COVID-19!
Now more than ever, it’s hard to believe what CDCR says it is doing. That is why we launched our CDCR COVID-19 Report Card Survey so that WE the people can grade the quality of their facilities and COVID-19 response practices.
Based on the results of this survey, we will be forming a list of demands specific to each facility and will be holding CDCR accountable to TAKE ACTION.
Stay tuned for the results of this survey.
On May 30th 2020, CDCR transferred 121 incarcerated individuals from California Institution for Men prison – a known hot spot for COVID-19 at the time – to San Quentin State Prison (SQSP). This led to a growing outbreak at San Quentin, which prior to the transfer had 0 COVID-19 cases. Today, over 2,000 incarcerated people have tested positive at SQSP and at least 12 people have died by COVID-19.
The #StopSanQuentinOutbreak campaign is an effort led by currently and formerly incarcerated folks, loved ones with direct connections to SQSP, and community organizers to raise awareness about the growing spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is supported by social justice organizations including Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Re:Store Justice, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, and more. Together, we demand that CDCR & Governor Newsom grant wide-scale releases now to stop the spread of COVID-19 across ALL California prisons.
To take action, check out the #StopSanQuentinOutbreak full list of demands HERE.
You can also follow this Social Media Toolkit to help us raise awareness!
Place4Grace – ReEntry Support
After helping to coordinate gate pick-ups during the first round of early releases in April, Karen McDaniel and Place4Grace have stepped into the leadership role of Statewide Point of Contact for all early releases from CDCR facilities.
Our organization has donated to support their efforts on the ground as coordinators and liaisons – managing the countless challenges of reentry during a pandemic with grace and compassion. We ask that you consider making a donation to their GoFundMe fundraiser to support their work.
Funds will go towards:
– Homecoming funds
– Solidarity kits (backpacks with essentials)
– Emergency Housing