Tags Public health crisis
Tag: public health crisis
Incarcerated people are vulnerable to severe illness due to COVID-19, and the pandemic is spreading rapidly in prisons, jails and detention centers because of lack of health care and adequate access to basic necessities, such as soap and disinfectant.
San Francisco – Healthcare workers sent an open letter with over 750 signatories to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the morning of July 27 urging immediate action to reduce the state prison population to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The signers condemn the recent COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison as a “public health crisis that impacts not only those Californians who are currently experiencing incarceration, but all of us.”
San Francisco – San Francisco County jail has seen a 40 percent increase in positive COVID-19 cases since June 18, 2020. This surge prompted a broad coalition of prominent entities to send a joint letter to the San Francisco Superior Court, urging it “in the strongest possible terms” to restore the zero bail policy in San Francisco to help reduce the jail population during the ongoing pandemic.
San Francisco – Disproportionately Black homeless residents may face massive police enforcement due to a settlement reached between the City of San Francisco and UC Hastings College of Law, which compels the City to “employ enforcement measures” for those who do not accept shelter placements or safe sleeping sites – yet provides less than 10 percent of homeless residents with such offers.
The United States Navy is not a public health organization. It is a military organization complicit in an exploding public health crisis at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco, California. Yet, with no evidence-based human health risk data to support its pronouncement, the Navy is the lead voice in a deafening echo chamber of government officials, health department representatives and mainstream media outlets who absurdly claim no risk to public health or harm to residents, workers or the environment has occurred due to dangerous redevelopment activities on a federal Superfund site!
San Francisco is home to the former Hunters Point Shipyard. Once called “the world’s greatest shipping yard,” it was declared a federal Superfund site in 1989, defined by USEPA as “one of the nation’s most contaminated lands.” Contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste from decades of military and industrial use, including toxic metals, PCBs, radionuclides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds. Numerous studies document Southeast SF is burdened by adverse health impacts due to cumulative exposures to toxic air pollution, carcinogens and industrial waste.
The Concerned Network of Women partnered with the United Council of Human Services, governed by Gwendolyn Westbrook and Dr. Betty McGee, to issue hand warmers and hot chili to homeless people. On New Year’s Eve, we visited the homeless living under the Cesar Chavez Freeway exit. While under the freeway, we witnessed an eviction notice dated Dec. 29, 2016. Evicting the homeless serves little purpose, other than further implying that homeless people have no human and/or civil rights. Here is one solution: Bring services to the encampment, not locks and chains.
Now picture this: a human being entombed in his or her bathroom 22½ hours out of the day for 10 to 40-plus years straight with absolutely no environmental stimulation or social contact with another human being. CDCR has taken the position that there is nothing wrong with these dehumanizing living conditions. But we’re curious to know what do the people think about this?
Among many startling findings by legal scholar Michelle Alexander, former director of the ACLU's Racial Justice Project here in the Bay Area, is this: There are more African Americans under correctional control today – in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.