After years of self-organizing inside Santa Clara County jails for humane treatment and conditions – enduring multiple deaths, 3 hunger strikes and an abusive jail culture – families who have pushed the County to acknowledge and implement system changes have the unique opportunity to further impact the lives of hundreds in and out of custody.
The class action lawsuit brought against the county (Chavez v SCC) was the last hope that would ensure that our loved ones inside can get their proper time out of cell, equal opportunity to downclass to a less restrictive setting, proper medical and mental health attention, suicide prevention, and have a way to prevent correctional officers from beating and abusing our loved ones inside.
The case was settled late last year, and in most cases like this there is no such thing as public comment, but we have a unique opportunity to have families continue to voice what they would like to see changed in our jails.
Below are statements, analysis, and personal letters that remind us why the lawsuit came about and the unimaginable horrors that loved ones endure behind concrete walls in the middle of Silicon Valley.
Audio Statement by Prisoners United of Silicon Valley to the Chavez V. County of Santa Clara Remedial Plan:
Personal experience inside the jail from a whistleblower on jail conditions:
Read De-Bug's Comments on the Chavez V. County of Santa Clara Remedial Plan:
Hunger Strike Questionnaire Data Analysis
Analysis of questionnaires detailing the outcomes of three hunger strikes in the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex largely addressing classification, solitary confinement and use of force. The questionnaires were created by Prisoners United themselves, distributed by Silicon Valley De-Bug with the analysis done by Jordan Parker, as part of her studies at Stanford University.
Letter from Shannon Tyree
Shannon Tyree's brother, Michael, was murdered by correctional officers in the Santa Clara County Main Jail in August of 2015. She wrote this letter to weigh in on the Remedial plan brought after the class action lawsuit on behalf of loved ones detained inside the county jails.
Letter from Fernando Lopez
Fernando Lopez is Isai Lopez's brother who was found dead in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose in October of 2018. He prepared this letter to read at the special hearing of the Chavez V Santa Clara County class action lawsuit.
Message from Prisoners United of Silicon Valley Suspending 11 Day Hunger StrikePrisoners United of Silicon Valley to Resume Hunger Strike
Prisoners United Win 5 Core Demands & Sacrifice 3 Days of Custody Meals for the Hungry