“This is flat out wrong. No one should have to go through this. It seems as if they are giving my brother the death sentence and we can’t do nothing about it.” – brother of Pacific Islander prisoner being transferred from Solano prison to Pleasant Valley prison.
Pleasant Valley and Avenal State prisons are in the midst of a valley fever epidemic, a dangerous and possibly fatal fungal infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40 percent of those infected require hospitalization, and the disease can be fatal. Six years ago, court receiver J. Clark Kelso asked California prison officials to relocate all inmates from Pleasant Valley and Avenal prisons if the valley fever rates did not drop. Approximately 40 people in prison have died from valley fever since 2006.
In June 2013, a federal court order prohibited the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from housing high-risk inmate populations at Pleasant Valley and Avenal, including prisoners with serious medical problems and prisoners of African and Filipino descent. However, as of July 30th, 2013, CDCR is still attempting to transfer high-risk populations including prisoners of Filipino descent to Pleasant Valley and Avenal prisons.
This health epidemic is exacerbated by the fact that California prisons hold about 50% more inmates than they were designed to house. The State of California continues to evade the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reduce the inmate population by 10,000 and ease prison overcrowding.
Join us in demanding basic human rights for all prisoners at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons and prevent more unnecessary deaths! Not one more death!
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
I am appalled at the conditions surrounding the valley fever epidemic at Pleasant Valley and Avenal state prisons. In order to prevent further unnecessary deaths from valley fever, I request the following to be implemented immediately:
1) Stop the transfer of high-risk prisoners to Pleasant Valley and Avenal state prisons, including people of African, Asian, and Pacific Islander descent. The Center for Disease Control and research studies have shown that people of African, Asian, and Pacific Islander descent have a higher risk of contracting valley fever.
2) Relocate ALL prisoners from Pleasant Valley and Avenal prisons. This can be accomplished by following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reduce the inmate population by 10,000 and ease prison overcrowding.
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