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The one about our tax funded COVID19 spreading centers…(Covid 19 Jail Outbreak)

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

COVID UPDATE - 1/25/22 - Sac County Board of Supervisors meeting - item 30

Thank you to Franny Dewey, one of our awesome Sacramento State interns, for taking notes on this item! Learn more about Franny here!

What was this item all about?

Item 30 at the BOS meeting - meeting page linked here - was a consent item (what does this mean?)

Item 30 was put on the agenda to get Board approval to authorize additional grant funding for Covid-19 response in the Sacramento Main Jail.

What happened?

Questions where raised about why more funding was necessary. The grant extension was requested in order to cover personnel related costs and software costs, supposedly to do comprehensive contact tracing for Covid-19 within the Sac Main Jail. However, there has been no external access of the contact tracing data, nor has it been made available to the public. DESPITE all the money the County has been pouring into the jail.

Was there a vote?

All consent items (including item 30) were moved forward.

Following the cash

$73,725 was appropriated for the Main Jail.

<<< what we have to say to the Board

Why is this important for social justice?

The community needs to follow-up with questions about public access to contact tracing inside the jail. We have been following the saga of how Covid-19 has wreaked havoc through our jails, with no meaningful response from our electeds officials. The BOS has failed. They need to do better NOW. Read the original post below to learn more.



As of 11.2.21 the County Health Department reported 191 Cases of Covid in Sacramento jails.

William Francis Stevens was due to be released in April 2021, when the vaccinated 53-year-old died of what his wife says were COVID related complications while incarcerated in Sacramento.

Jamaine Barnes, who is serving time for nonviolent offenses, has gotten covid twice, and is living with long term health conditions caused by it. He said he was allowed to walk and interact with other inmates long after the jail found out he was positive.

Both Stevens and Barnes reported that they’re not being given adequate medical treatment, sanitation supplies, or quarantine options.

Family members are scared their incarcerated loved ones are being handed down a death sentence, due to the negligence of the correctional facility.

Decarcerate Sacramento planned a press conference with families of incarcerated community members, and showed up for an off agenda comment at the 11.2.21 Board of Supervisors meeting. They reported that:

84% of those incarcerated are pre-trial, which means they are legally innocent.

They also asked the Board to put pressure on city staff for emergency releases.

Supervisor Serna seemed to appreciate the obvious:

Jails are germ factories, where COVID has the perfect condition to spread like...well...COVID.

He put pressure on the Health Department to work with the sheriff, the courts, and anybody else to encourage early release of those who can qualify. Apparently there was a covid provision early on, but that ended, and everyone feels like their hands are tied - because the final decision is up to the sheriff. Serna reminded the health officials that they are charged with public health and trying to stop the spread, and shouldn’t be “bashful” about stating what’s needed to accomplish that. (DUH)

Supervisor Kennedy requested the inspector general investigate and he requested a personal copy of jail covid procedures (intake, separation, tracing, and reporting).

Supervisor Frost inquired if inmates are being offered any preventive options - like extra immune system boosting vitamins after being diagnosed with COVID, to prevent hospitalization, speed recovery etc- to which the response was:

“nah - of course not.”

Dr. Kasirye agreed to get all the information the BOS was asking for, and report back. To follow Up Contact the Board of Supervisors or Decarcerate Sacramento: Find your supervisor by clicking here

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