Protesters March To San Quentin, Call For Mass Release

Protestors march to San Quentin calling for the mass release of prisoners.
Bob Butler/KCBS Radio

Protesters marched from Larkspur Landing in Marin County to the west gate of San Quentin State Prison on Sunday, calling for the mass release of prisoners as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread behind bars.  

Protest organizer Courtney Morris told KCBS Radio that we have to protect incarcerated inmates

“COVID spreads so easily because of the inhumane infrastructures of prisons, as well, so we have a lot to address here,” Morris said. “Gavin Newsom does have the opportunity to grant mass releases, and that’s what we’re demanding today. No state execution by COVID-19.” 

More than 2,000 San Quentin inmates have tested positive and 21 have died so far, according to the latest numbers from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There are 147 inmates currently infected behind bars. 

On a cell-phone, inmate Troiano Hudson spoke about conditions inside, saying the response feels disorganized.  

“They still haven’t cleaned out the air vents here,” Hudson said. “We're breathing in trash and dust. Medical is not the same.” 

Protesters march to San Quentin calling for the mass release of prisoners.
Bob Butler/KCBS Radio

Morris said Governor Newsom signed an executive order stopping all death penalty executions back in March, yet inmates are still dying. 

“We can't say we have a moratorium on the death penalty if we’re dying due to criminal state negligence at the hands of the state,” she added. 

Roughly 400 people attended the rally.

The outbreak at San Quentin was tied to the transfer of inmates from another state prison in Chino