Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sleep Is Not A Crime

I was arrested for sleeping at a protest (via California Penal Code Section 647(e)).
647.  Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:

(e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it.
We were protesting the Santa Cruz, California sleeping ban.  Santa Cruz thinks it should be illegal to sleep between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., or use a blanket to keep warm at night (even if awake).  At the time of my arrest I was in a small sleeping bag, resting on top of a thin foam mat, protesting the Santa Cruz sleeping ban (via the act of sleeping).  There are a lot of other silly ordinances and laws involved, and I hope to ridicule them in detail here, but right now the topic is being arrested for sleeping.

Being arrested for 647(e) in Santa Cruz means incarceration in the Santa Cruz County Jail, waiting for an arraignment hearing.  I'll spare you the details, for now.  Right now I want to explain how to help those that are incarcerated.

Currently, for whatever reasons, meals in jail are meager.  Some call it a captive starvation diet.  There is the option to purchase more food (and other personal items, mostly of low quality and high price).  In Santa Cruz, purchases are possible once a week (delivery on Wednesday).  To make purchases, the incarcerated must have 'money on their books', deposits made to their jail account.  If you want to help someone that has been incarcerated, go to the jail and use the ATM-like machine in the lobby to add money to their books/account as soon as possible.  The machine in Santa Cruz takes $20 bills (and the jail skims $3 off the top, leaving your friend with $17).  The deadline for placing orders is Tuesday, so get the money on their books before the deadline, otherwise they will not receive an order that week.  Money on the books makes life easier inside, and makes it easier to make life easier for others inside, which also makes life easier inside.

Actual books are important too.  In Santa Cruz County, gift books should (must?) arrive new, shipped from the publisher/seller, to avoid issues with smuggling.  The limit is 5 books per arrestee, if I recall correctly.  There are some existing books available inside, mostly novels.  While I was inside, these are the books I wish I had access too.
Police Misconduct: Law And Litigation
by David Rudovsky, Karen Blum, Michael Aver

The Jazz Theory Book
by Mark Levine

The Art Of Chess Combination
by Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

Basic Chess Endings
by Reuben Fine
They are mentioned because those books could be useful to others inside, even multiple copies.

I am currently free on bail pending appeal.

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