Transfer of inmates from San Quentin halted after 2 test positive for coronavirus – San Francisco Chronicle

” Social distancing is not … a truth here,” Chan said.

” We understand and share the concern of COVID-19 cases in the states prisons, and are implementing several techniques to control the spread of the infection,” corrections spokesperson Simas said in the email.

” I dont understand what they think theyre doing,” Mutch stated of the state corrections department.” This infection is so respected, and you nearly cant check quick enough to catch it, and thats what were all stressed about,” Nelson-Sloane said.

Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, who also spoke in the city center, required aggressive actions to lower the total prison population, such as early release for 37,000 incarcerated people who he stated would be launched within a year anyway. Furthermore, he prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to launch 5,000 prisoners who are age 65 or older.

A Chronicle examination revealed that 121 males put on buses and brought to San Quentin were not checked for the coronavirus for up to a month prior to they were bused by the lots. After the transfer, the number of virus cases amongst San Quentin locals and personnel exploded. By Saturday afternoon, 613 detainees and more than 80 staff members were verified to be infected, according to the states web tracker.

” This virus is so respected, and you almost cant test quick enough to capture it, and thats what were all fretted about,” Nelson-Sloane said. “We cant even keep it out of the White House.

Adamu Chan, a male put behind bars in San Quentin who called into a town hall arranged Saturday by corrective justice groups, offered a grim description of conditions in the prison. He stated he sleeps in an open dorm with 50 bunks on one side and 50 on the other, suggesting that 100 individuals are sharing bathrooms and typical locations.

But just prior to the transportation, staff found out about the two favorable cases. The state corrections department had said it would just take San Quentin males to North Kern if they all tested negative.

Vanessa Nelson-Sloane, whose company Life Support Alliance advocates for prisoners with life sentences, said that when she first found out about the transfer of men from San Quentin to North Kern, she informed state prison officials it was a bad idea, because the earlier transfer– of males from Chino to San Quentin– had actually worked out so poorly.

Said Mutch, “They should be releasing people to their neighborhood. There are plenty of people in jail who dont need to be in a $91,000-a-year bed.”

Critics of the strategy also said they were baffled because a similar transfer is what touched off the San Quentin break out in the very first place, as The Chronicle has reported.

A Chronicle examination exposed that 121 males placed on buses and brought to San Quentin were not evaluated for the coronavirus for as much as a month prior to they were bused by the dozens. After the transfer, the variety of virus cases amongst San Quentin residents and personnel exploded. By Saturday afternoon, 613 detainees and more than 80 team member were confirmed to be infected, according to the states web tracker.

San Quentin had no coronavirus cases amongst its incarcerated population until an ill-fated transfer of men late last month from the California Institution for Men in Chino– the website of the state jail systems most dangerous outbreak.

Early Saturday early morning, males housed in several areas of the jail, including West Block and the gymnasium, were told to collect their possessions and prepare to immediately board a bus, Mutch stated he was informed.

Because the transfer of males from Chino led to such a mess, many in the San Quentin neighborhood– residents, personnel and liked ones– had actually been fretted given that Friday, when the state said it intended to transfer as many as 150 San Quentin men to North Kern State Prison, a center with 2,200 incarcerated guys in the Central Valley.

” I dont know what they believe theyre doing,” Mutch said of the state corrections department. “Its amazing, whats going on. Its amazing.”

The bunks are stacked close together, Chan stated. Those sleeping on top are inches far from the individual in the next bunk, those on the bottom have about 2 feet of separation.

Just recently, authorities presented a diagram with directions for people in adjacent bunks to position themselves at the same time with their heads to the wall or feet to the wall, as a method to create more distance.

Although Mutch and other detainee supporters were grateful to hear the transfer would not be taking place, at least not in the next couple of days, the experience left them shaken.

Marvin Mutch, a former San Quentin prisoner and director of advocacy with the Prisoner Reentry Network, said he got a number of panicked calls from the loved ones of San Quentin homeowners.

In the middle of a significant coronavirus break out at San Quentin State Prison that has thrown the facility into chaos, an emergency transfer of incarcerated guys to a jail in the Bakersfield area has been halted after two individuals on the transfer list checked positive for the infection, The Chronicle has learned.

Jason Fagone, Rachel Swan and Megan Cassidy are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email:,,

The scheduled relocation, revealed by the state corrections department Friday evening, was heavily slammed by detainee supporters and their enjoyed ones, who stated the transfer could spread infection to another jail and the men need to be released to their communities rather.

” Additional screening for COVID-19 being carried out on the prisoners set up for transfer exposed 2 favorable cases,” Dana Simas, a state corrections spokeswoman, stated in an email. “Those prisoners are now in seclusion and under medical watch.”