Eric called yesterday to tell us that he has ended his hunger strike. Yesterday marked the two-week point in this leg of his struggle for vegan food. Further down is a letter he has asked us to send to you.
Thank you all for your support these last two weeks! Based on the jail's response to our calls, it was clear that they were feeling the pressure. Unfortunately, this battle is not over. Eric is still requesting vegan food AND medical care from the jail. We need to keep calling to demand that he be provided both.
Eric has decided he will finish the commissary food he has left in his cell, but will no longer be ordering items from commissary. This means that he will, once again, be subsisting off of what little food he can pull from his trays. Eric has tried this in the past. In fact, this is what he was eating before his recent hunger strike. During the two months he was doing so, he lost 20 pounds and suffered a bout of pericarditis. Clearly, this is not an acceptable diet. It is imperative that we keep calling the jail and and demand that Eric be given food and medical care immediately.
Eric has still not received blood work. The doctors at the jail have told Eric's lawyer a number of times that the cardiologist was scheduled to see Eric, but this has yet to happen. Eric needs to be given bloodwork, and to see a cardiologist immediately so they can properly diagnose the cause of his heart condition.
When Eric was last weighed by the doctors at the jail, he weighed 147 pounds. This is the lowest his weight has been since he entered the jail , and it is dangerously low for someone of Eric's height and build.
When Scott Jones was interviewed by the press on Tuesday (after a press conference held by his family, partner and supporters about his hunger strike – for statements from Eric, his mother, and his partner about his hunger strike, please visit www.supporteric.org soon, as these documents should be posted in the next couple of days), he repeated the jail's oft repeated lie that the jail does not have the resources to supply Eric with vegan food. Please remember that this is absolutely false. The jail provided Eric with vegan food for 16 months, and there is no reason they cannot continue to do so.
Please keep calling the jail! When you call the Correctional Health Services Division about Eric's medical situation please request that they do the following things:
1) Give Eric the treatment they have promised. That means bloodwork and a visit from a cardiologist. Until they do these things, they will not be able to properly diagnosis the causes of and provide treatment for his heart condition.
2) Eric needs to be given full access to his medical records and the results of these tests.
3) Dr. Dutrick (possibly mispelled), the man in charge at medical services, should recommend that Eric be given vegan food for medical reasons (it would obviously improve his health). Scott Jones said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee that they will give prisoners vegan food with a doctor's order.
4) Dr. Dutrick should make a recommendation to the jail administration that inmates who refuse to eat non-vegan food should be given vegan food for medical reasons (clearly eating is healthier than starving)
The phone number to the Correctional Health Services Division is: (916) 875-9782.
You can also email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When calling the jail administration about vegan food for Eric and future prisoners, request that they:
1) Provide Eric with vegan food immediately. His health is in very poor condition – he lost 20 pounds after they cut off his vegan meals, and suffered another bout of pericarditis – and this could be remedied by feeding him nutritious, healthy meals. They provided Eric with vegan meals for 16 months. There is no reason they cannot continue to do so. (Remember, they always say that they don't have the resources to provide “special” diets – but this is simply not true.)
2) Change the policy about vegan meals and ensure future access to anyone that refuses to eat non-vegan food.
3) Jail Commander Captain Scott Jones or Operations Commander Lt. Deputy Douglas needs to speak with Eric immediately about his requests so they can begin remedying the situation.
Please continue calling the jail at the numbers below, and make sure you have Eric's x-reference number handy in case they ask for it (x-ref 2972521):
Jail phone numbers: 916-874-6752 or 916-874-6905
Chief Deputy, Corrections & Court Services 916-874-5686
Captain Scott Jones: 916-874-5428 (This is the direct line for the jail commander and it may only be answered during business hours)
You can also request to speak with Jail Operations Commander Douglas, as he is allegedly the person who will probably make the final decision about Eric's food.
A Letter From Eric.....
needing to land ashore & rocky shoals at low tide revealing no beach head, the search for a harbor elsewhere must ensue… … …
upon reflection i noticed how procedure and policy had removed the humyn element in how the jail handled hunger strikes (as much as there was one in the first place), how my hospitalization was becoming unavoidable (irking at my just say no instincts 2 western “medicine”), & most
important of all = something’s not feeling right in the direction i was moving. these relations have brought me 2 the point where i’ve decided 2 no longer protest in this fashion; in the spring of 06 it brought forth growth, seems like the soils of fall 07 may require a different type of seed. i also fully acknowledge that some cycles are meant 4 others 2 complete but i still have some time left within these walls. my intent was 2 B treated humanely in an inhumane system, perhaps that was my mistake – oh well = live, learn, adapt, think about it, think about it again & give it 1 more go (emphasis on the adapt bit)
i wish 2 thank from the depths of my being all those who have supported me over the last 2 weeks with letters & contacting the jail on my behalf. i especially want 2 thank my partner, family and SPS for all their energies & support.
Much love and solidarity,
Find Your Joy