For Immediate Release – Friday, February 7, 2020
Following federal judge order on SF jails, No New SF Jail Coalition releases district attorney and jail population Report Card, urges immediate closure of 850 Bryant St.
Mohamed Shehk – 408.910.2618 – firstname.lastname@example.org
No New SF Jail Coalition
San Francisco – On the heels of a federal judge’s order requiring prisoners held at 850 Bryant St. jail to be allowed access to sunlight, the No New SF Jail Coalition has released its first District Attorney and jail population Report Card. With Chesa Boudin serving as the new District Attorney, the Report Card will track his progress in his first 100 days in office toward fulfilling his promise to reduce the city’s jail population and closing 850 Bryant St. The Coalition will be releasing a series of these Report Cards over the course of the Boudin’s first 100 days.
The Report Card details how many people the new DA is arraigning on felony charges, and how many of those people are being held pretrial rather than released. The coalition is also tracking changes in the number of people being held at 850 Bryant St., as well as the trends in the overall county jail population. Additionally, Boudin’s office recently announced the end of seeking “cash bail,” and the Report Card will more accurately assess the DA’s promises to scale back the use of pretrial detention.
“The city has known for years that it needs to close 850 Bryant St., yet city officials have irresponsibly stalled and have yet to take action. New District Attorney Chesa Boudin has promised to reduce San Francisco’s imprisoned population and close the jail, and we want to hold him to that promise,” said Shirley Leslie of Critical Resistance, a member of the No New SF Jail Coalition.
Last week, a federal judge issued an injunction against denying imprisoned people access to sunlight and outdoor exercise. “The decrepit building at 850 Bryant St. cannot accommodate even the minimum humane condition of allowing people held there access to sunlight. It must be closed immediately,” continued Leslie. “The Sheriff’s Department’s option to transfer prisoners to Santa Rita Jail is unconscionable. The Board of Supervisors have already heard a plethora of recommendations of how to close the jail without sending people out-of-county; it needs to implement those recommendations now.”
Representing the prisoners who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit against inhumane conditions at 850 Bryant St, attorney Yolanda Huang stated, “On Jan. 31, 2020 a federal magistrate judge ordered SF to provide all incarcerated people for longer than four years, one hour of sunlight a week. A very baby step. These men have been held indoors, under fluorescent lights for years, and many have developed chronic illnesses, as 850 Bryant is completely dilapidated. Yet, the SF City Attorney is threatening to appeal the judge’s decision. An appeal would be a complete misuse of taxpayer funds.”