Adachi Project releases ‘One Eleven Taylor,’ a documentary short depicting dangerous conditions at a GEO Group-run for-profit halfway house in San Francisco

 

This is the face that GEO Group shows to San Franciscans on its only facility in the city.

by Valerie Ibarra

San Francisco – Today, Feb. 16, 2021, the Adachi Project released its first film, “One Eleven Taylor (During a Pandemic),” a powerful documentary short about the re-entry center at 111 Taylor St. run by GEO Group in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. The film reveals how this for-profit company – which has a legacy of prioritizing profits over the people – is engaged in a dangerous pattern of neglect which is exposing residents to COVID-19. 

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office began documenting conditions at 111 Taylor in May 2020, after a resident notified his attorney about risks to personal safety due to lack of COVID-19 protocols. In response, the office worked to help relocate their clients who were housed in the center, where possible. 

The reporting resident also began to record interviews and capture videos of the crisis and the residents’ deepening fear, not only of COVID-19 spreading throughout the facility, but also of the potential retaliation for speaking out. The result is a tense 11-minute immersive documentary seen and experienced through the eyes of residents who are forced to live at 111 Taylor and risk violating parole and being sent back to prison to protect themselves from the virus. 

Locating a halfway house – a place where prisoners who may have been locked up for decades are trying with all their strength to re-enter the “free world” successfully – in the San Francisco neighborhood most burdened by poverty, homelessness and drugs is cruel punishment, though sadly not unusual.

“The conditions at 111 Taylor are extremely troubling, and this film is just a glimpse into what is a larger, ongoing pattern of abusive practices and crises created by private prison corporations like GEO Group,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju. 

“It also affirms the recent complaint by Mr. Keith ‘Malik’ Washington about conditions at 111 Taylor and emphasizes our longstanding position that state and federal governments need to stop awarding lucrative contracts to private prison corporations, as time and time again we witness how they fail to protect the safety and wellbeing of the people in their custody and in the community. 

Locating a halfway house – a place where prisoners who may have been locked up for decades are trying with all their strength to re-enter the “free world” successfully – in the San Francisco neighborhood most burdened by poverty, homelessness and drugs is cruel punishment, though sadly not unusual.

“We have fought to release our clients from this location, but that is only a temporary and partial remedy to a larger solution – which is to put an end to for-profit prisons and reentry centers altogether and invest in community-based programs that understand and prioritize the needs of the people and communities they serve,” said Raju. 

Watch “One Eleven Taylor (During a Pandemic)” here. 

“One Eleven Taylor (During a pandemic)” is the first installment of DEFENDER – Vol. 00, a new film, art and media project revealing the inequities of the U.S. criminal legal system and produced by The Adachi Project, the seminal media and justice initiative of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Even/Odd and Compound. 

“The conditions at 111 Taylor are extremely troubling, and this film is just a glimpse into what is a larger, ongoing pattern of abusive practices and crises created by private prison corporations like GEO Group,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju.

The Adachi Project launched on Feb. 4, 2021, and was created in memory of late San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi to bring to light unseen perspectives of the criminal legal system. The goal of The Adachi Project is to “reveal truth and demand justice,” with the belief that powerful storytelling and elevating all voices can humanize people who have been directly impacted and dehumanized by the carceral system. 

San Francisco Public Defender

For 100 years, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office has provided effective and zealous legal representation to people who are charged with a crime and unable to afford an attorney. Led by elected Public Defender Mano Raju, the office provides legal representation to over 25,000 indigent people charged with crimes each year, while also fighting for systemic change outside of the courtroom. The Adachi Project coordinating team for the office is made up of Deputy Public Defender Hadi Razzaq, SF Policy Director Carolyn Goossen and Public Information Officer Valerie Ibarra.

The Adachi Project

The Adachi Project is a vital first-of-its-kind media program of the Office of the San Francisco Public Defender developed in partnership with Compound and award-winning San Francisco based cultural creative studio and production company, Even/Odd. Its goal is to illuminate timely stories of the U.S. criminal legal system through seminal documentary film, videos and photojournalism that inform our understanding of the human impact of “justice” on our communities and influence our vision for an equal and just society. 

Founding partners of the Adachi Project

Valerie Ibarra, public information officer for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, can be reached at Valerie.Ibarra@sfgov.org