“Where We Stand,” Dec. 17, 2020

12/17/2020 by Katie Powers

Every day, the Commissary Club community engages in important conversations about the issues that matter most to us. Each week, we’ll highlight our community members’ voices as they respond to issues surrounding criminal justice, prison reform, reentry, and more, across the internet.

#ReleasesNotTransfers

Despite a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across the state, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation continues to transfer people between facilities. This week, a petition circulated across social media platforms calling on Governor Gavin Newson and CDCR to halt the involuntary transfer of 400 elderly and medically vulnerable people from San Quentin State Prison to other prisons across the state. According to the petition authors, the CDCR is currently seeing outbreaks in all 34 of its facilities for the first time since the pandemic began. As of this morning, the petition received 2,267 signatures.

The move also goes against the logic of California’s recently implemented regional stay at home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and in light of ICU bed shortages across the state.
The news of the transfers comes as a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative shows that mass incarceration was linked to an additional half a million cases of COVID-19- or 13% of all new cases-between May 1st-August 1st alone.

Friends of Commissary Club took to social media to show their support for the petition and advocate for population reduction in prisons, which The New England Journal of Medicine cites as an essential public health measure.

James King

Adnan Khan

Jose Bernal

What are your thoughts on this issue? How can Commissary Club work to address it? Join the conversation at www.commissary.club, the exclusive social network for people with criminal records and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We can’t wait to hear from you.