E-40 is making sure that inmates and staff at two of California’s largest prisons have access to hand sanitizer. The Bay Area rap legend produced and donated 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to USP Lompoc and San Quentin State Prison.
Lompoc has seen the largest number of coronavirus outbreaks of any prison in the country with at least 912 confirmed cases, which accounts for about 70% Lompoc’s inmate population, the Los Angeles Times reports. The prison has so far tested about half of its inmates.
“Lompoc has the most cases I wanted to really target them mainly, but I was like let me take care of San Quentin as well,” Forty Water told NBC Bay Area. “I can’t save the world but I can play my part. I can help a few.”
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As of May 9, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among San Quentin inmates but there we six cases among the staff. A protests was held outside of the prison last weekend to demand that the state accelerate the release of inmates during the pandemic.
“It’s not just about the prisoners,” lawyer Richard Tan, a lawyer for one of the protest organizers, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “If there are outbreaks in prison, it will spread into neighboring communities through the staff. Prisons will become incubators. The state of California really needs to consider releasing many more prisoners who are currently incarcerated. That’s what it comes down to.”
Around 3,500 detainees in California state prisons have been released early due to overcrowding amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Watch E40’s full interview with NBC Bay Area below.