Meal Strike at Monterey County Jail, California in Response to COVID-19

Monterey County Jail, Salinas, California
March 17, 2020

Prisoners detained in the women’s side of the Monterey County Jail staged a meal strike on March 17, in fear of contracting the coronavirus through their food. Rene Brooks, an organizer of the strike, maintains that some prisoners are still participating as of March 23. Brooks also stated that prisoners in the men’s facility also participated. Chief Deputy John Thornberg claims that the strike only lasted one meal, but prisoners dispute this claim.

Prisoners were responding to information that the coronavirus can be spread through breathing, coughing, and sneezing, and stated they were afraid of the virus spreading through the food. The prisoners charge that the jail is not providing adequate sanitation equipment to help prevent infection.


Coronavirus Impact: Monterey County Jail inmates skipping meals out of fear of catching COVID-19“, The Californian, March 23, 2020.

Article published: April 28, 2020
Header photo source: The Californian