A Marin County Superior Court judge has ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to respond by August 4, 2020, in an expedited briefing schedule, to petitions requesting immediate release of 21 people at San Quentin State Prison. The petitions were filed by inmates at San Quentin in pro per and by and attorneys representing inmates, including the San Francisco Public Defender.
The petitions address the COVID 19 outbreak at San Quentin that has infected over 2,000 people living and working at San Quentin, resulting in staffing shortages, lockdown, and fear for those incarcerated and their families. The COVID-19 infection rate in San Quentin is 63% while California’s infection rate is 1%.
“Incarcerated people at San Quentin are scared to death,” said Marin County Public Defender Jose Varela. “Judge Howard has ordered CDCR to respond. And his seeking quick input from all parties reflects the important human rights issues at the heart of this litigation.”