By Esha Kher
SAN FRANCISCO – The Adachi Project, an initiative started by the late San Francisco Public Defender to reveal unseen perspectives of the U.S. criminal legal system, released its first documentary short: “One Eleven Taylor (During a Pandemic).”
The film centers around a halfway house for formerly incarcerated individuals and the shortcomings of owner GEO Group to provide adequate medical care, testing, and living conditions during COVID-19.
“One Eleven Taylor” is a reintegration facility that is located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and is owned and operated by GEO Group, a multibillion-dollar corporation that contracts with state and federal governments to provide private prisons, immigration detention centers, and halfway houses.
In May 2020, an investigation by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office uncovered the jarring reality of the GEO Group’s negligence to “to protect the health and safety of people in its custody, and avoided testing for COVID-19.”
The documentation of these conditions by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office began after a resident notified his attorney about “risks to personal safety due to lack of COVID 19 protocols” and began to “record interviews and capture videos of the crisis.”
The residents at 111 Taylor are forced to live there since they “risk violating parole and being sent back to prison to protect themselves from the virus.”
The film suggests GEO Group has endangered the lives of the vulnerable residents by failing to protect the health and safety for residents and avoiding testing for COVID-19 “for the fear that the results would require them to undertake costly and logistically challenging actions to mitigate spread of the virus.”
The GEO Group gets funds from the state and federal government on a per-person basis, therefore “any significant reductions – even from four men down to two per room – would have been financially damaging.
San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju stresses the need to abolish privatized reintegration programs altogether.
“We have fought to release our clients from this location, but that is only a temporary and partial remedy to a larger solution—which is to put an end to for-profit prisons and reentry centers altogether and invest in community-based programs that understand and prioritize the needs of the people and communities they serve,” Raju said.
Esha Kher is an undergraduate student at UC Davis studying Political Science and Computer Science, hoping to pursue a career in corporate law. She is passionate about legal journalism and political advocacy that provokes new perspectives and sparks conversation among the public. When she is not reporting for The Davis Vanguard, Esha is either trying out a new YouTube workout or reading a book on late modern philosophy.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: