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Tell Governor Newsom to Act Now: Address COVID-19 in Jails and Juvenile Facilities

A coalition of community advocates needs your support to call Governor Newsom on Thursday, July 9th and tell the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to: 1) report data on COVID-19 cases inside jails and juvenile facilities, and 2) begin facility inspections immediately.

COVID-19 threatens the safety of approximately 53,000 Californians confined in county jails and juvenile facilities. The alarming spread of COVID-19 in our state prison system also exists in county facilities. California must act immediately to understand the scope of COVID-19 infection, inspect these facilities, and protect those inside. 

The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) is a statewide oversight agency responsible for county facilities, but they refuse to hear our concerns and collect COVID-19 testing data. We are forced to piece together media reports, press releases, and anecdotal stories to track COVID-19 outbreaks. Plus, BSCC halted inspections of all facilities--relying on “desk audits” to evaluate facility policies.

The lack of centralized information gathering prevents our state from saving lives by coordinating responses to COVID-19 inside local facilities. Researchers and medical professionals are unable to track the rate of infections and provide treatment. Community-based organizations and systems leaders cannot plan for potential releases or develop suitable diversion programs for their communities. Most importantly, the families of those in local justice facilities do not know whether their loved ones are safe from COVID-19.

 This is unacceptable. Governor Newsom must tell BSCC to:

  • Collect and publicly share data on COVID-19 cases, testing, and treatment inside county jails and juvenile facilities.

  • Resume field inspections of county jails and juvenile facilities immediately and make reports accessible.

PHONE CALL INSTRUCTIONS 

Anti-Recidivism Coalition

Please call Governor Newsom at (916) 445-2841

  • Press “1” for English or “2” for Spanish
  • And then “6” to speak with a staff person

Once your call is answered, tell Governor Newsom’s staff that you want to leave a message for the Governor. Note: When we called, they did not ask for a name. 

You can follow the script below, and/or make it your own: 

“The Governor needs to tell the BSCC to collect and publicly share data on COVID-19 cases inside jails and juvenile facilities, and begin facility inspections immediately. The BSCC must take action to protect people in local facilities during this public health crisis.”

We are also asking you to share using our SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT. Big thanks to our partners at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition for creating these powerful designs.  

PHONE CALL INSTRUCTIONS 

Please call Governor Newsom at (916) 445-2841

  • Press “1” for English or “2” for Spanish
  • And then “6” to speak with a staff person

Once your call is answered, tell Governor Newsom’s staff that you want to leave a message for the Governor. Note: When we called, they did not ask for a name. 

You can follow the script below, and/or make it your own:

“The Governor needs to tell the BSCC to collect and publicly share data on COVID-19 cases inside jails and juvenile facilities, and begin facility inspections immediately. The BSCC must take action to protect people in local facilities during this public health crisis.”

Please contact CJCJ's Director of Policy and Development Brian Goldstein (brian@cjcj.org) if you have any questions. Thank you for supporting our work on this critical issue.

Keywords: BSCC, California, COVID-19, jails, juvenile facility

Posted in Blog, Correctional Institutions

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