Jail Release Support Nights

Screen Shot 2019-08-25 at 3.41.57 AM

This project is a working group within the Oakland chapter of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. IWOC is a prisoner-led section of the Industrial Workers of the World. It is also a network of groups, located all across the country, that are dedicated to mutual aid, supporting prisoners who are organizing, and amplifying the demands of incarcerated people.

We offer hot food, phone calls & phone chargers, warm clothes, rides to BART, hygiene products, and more. To donate or to volunteer, contact us at iwoc.oakland@gmail.com.

Why go to Santa Rita?

Santa Rita Jail is the fifth largest jail in the United States. Alameda County facilities, Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and Glen Dyer Detention Facility in Oakland, hold over two thousand people daily. People in ACSO custody are subjected to neglect, abuse, and even death. Contaminated food and water, denial of hygiene products, and physical abuse are common experiences we hear from people getting out. In addition to the trauma inflicted by the institution itself, being locked up in Santa Rita results in a multitude of other difficulties. People’s cars may be impounded, often by private companies which charge hundreds of dollars. MediCal benefits are suspended when someone is incarcerated. Absences at work result in loss of employment. We have met friends and family members who wait all night to pick up their loved ones, teenagers who have never been arrested before, and elders who have spent years in solitary confinement. We have met people who went to the store in slippers and sweatpants; not expecting that they would spend days, weeks, or months locked up.

Our aim is to offer direct support without conditions to people getting out of Santa Rita Jail. People tend to agree, whether they’re getting out or just there to support, that the world would be a better place without Santa Rita. Until that day, we are committed to doing our best to offer people the care that is so lacking inside. A hot meal is just a fraction of the care that we all need and deserve as human beings. But these moments also offer us all a way to connect: to share information about what conditions are like inside, exchange phone numbers, or just to chat and breathe some fresh air.

Late Night Releases and Transportation

For many people getting out of Santa Rita, release is a whole-day process: releasees go to court in the early morning, then wait for hours in a crowded holding cell before finally being released that night. Regardless of their condition upon arrest – injured, half-dressed, pregnant – individuals are let out with their clothes (or jail clothes) and a 5-dollar BART card. So, how do you leave Santa Rita on foot?

By bus: The first bus leaves from Broder Boulevard in front of the jail at 6:02AM, Monday through Friday; or at 7:40AM, Saturday and Sunday. The last bus leaves at 8:49PM.
BART: Dublin/Pleasanton BART is located about two miles away from Santa Rita Jail. At night or in the very early morning, the walking route to BART is almost completely unlit.
· The first BART train leaves from Dublin/Pleasanton at 4:58AM.
· The last BART train with full service to Daly City or Richmond leaves at 12:06AM.
· The very last BART train, with service to Bay Fair only, leaves at 12:44AM.

This leaves a window of up to nine hours when people cannot leave jail property on foot. Furthermore, there is a window of five hours, when BART is closed, in which people have no access to any form of public transportation at all. In addition to feeling tired and demoralized, people are vulnerable to physical assault and extortion by taxi drivers, who may charge as much as $20 just to drive them to BART.

All this info and the image below on a handy flyer

Jail Support by the Numbers Handout 3.28.19