California prison inmates vs Covid 19

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update 4/5/2020: although Newsom has started the release of 3,500 non violent inmates, that are within 60 days of their term ending, it’s still not enough. California prisons have been over crowded for decades and have ignored warnings to make a difference in the population.  These inmates don’t have the option of social distancing nor do they have the ability to sanitize their surroundings. Many have also been told they may not cover their faces because it hides their identity’s. More needs to be done!!!! 

Story 1:

     My husband (James Daniel Smith) of 12 years has been in the California prison system for almost 2 years now. The charges for his incarceration are from 2016 and consist of a misdemeanor DUI and felony evasion. Yes, he didn’t pull over right away but no high speed chase, near miss or accidents, nothing illegal in the vehicle, he was a single passenger that stayed on the road. The video even shows him using turn signals, he simply wasn’t clear minded and didn’t pull over right away. Due to the fact that he made more than 3 traffic violations, the charges where considered a felony. He was sentenced to 4 years prison. This entire 2 years of incarceration he has tested clean and has been involved in drug and alcohol classes and at the top of his class. 
     I know there are many other inmates, with a similar story, that don’t deserve a death sentence being trapped in a prison once Covid 19 strikes behind those walls. Please help us bring these (non violent, non sexual) inmates with little time of their sentence remaining home before it’s to late!!!! 
     Our daughter and household of 9 need him home during this scary time of Covid 19! Many other families deserve the same. Reduction of inmates will also benefit the health and safety of prison employees and their families. 

Story 2:

My husband Mark Ashford is in CTF Soledad, He has been in custody since 10/18 and is a “non violent offender” He has participated in every offered rehabilitation program and completed it, even though the “system” denied him the right to participate saying “he would NEVER change” He fought to be in 12 step programs, parenting and 6 other groups. He is in full recovery from substance abuse even in an environment full of drugs. He is eligible for the lowest amount of time served however the time didn’t start until he had been in for over 16 months because the CDCR doesn’t use a transparent calculation ALL inmates are serving much longer than promised when they accepted “deals”.
     Our requests for release on GPS or house arrest or even updates on health are ignored. My husband is being punished for being sick by being sent to a higher level and no phone calls. No test for the virus was administered instead he was placed in an isolation cell. We need him home, we have a 9 year old son and adult children who deserve to have another parent for support and comfort.
     Our inmates are being held in a clear and direct violation of every CDC virus prevention guideline in violation of human, civil and constitutional rights. This has become a violation of the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

thank you for your time and consideration 

Stephanie Smith & Vanessa Ashford