SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto and Treasurer Jose Cisneros announced a new pilot program on Monday that would give detainees a $ 10 monthly allowance for the purchase of necessities such as groceries and hygiene products.

According to the city guides, the commissioner grant pilot program will help people in city prisons who have little or no support from the outside world to maintain their dignity by purchasing essential items such as snacks, deodorant, shampoo and other items.

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The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States

While incarcerated people have access to meals and basic toiletries, family members of detainees usually put money in their loved ones’ accounts so they can supplement their toiletries and purchase additional groceries. About a third of people detained in San Francisco have no outside support and cannot afford to buy the additional items, city officials said.

“This is an investment in a safer community,” Miyamoto said in a statement. “When we give people who are concerned with justice the resources and a sense of freedom of choice about their lives, we will help them survive their time in prison and help them return successfully and safely to society.”

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“As a city, we should invest in, and not benefit from, the most marginalized people in our community,” said Cisneros. “During the pandemic, it is more important than ever that people in detention are able to maintain hygiene and additional food.”

Detainees who are eligible for the program include those who have been held in a city jail for 30 days or more with an average commissioner balance of less than $ 10. Around 106 people are currently qualifying in city prisons.

The program, which is a collaboration between the Sherriff’s Office, the Treasurer’s Financial Justice Project and the San Francisco Jail Justice Coalition, is currently being tested for a year.

The program is part of a series of changes in the city’s prisons. Last year, the city became the first in the nation to introduce free phone calls and end surcharges for detective items for inmates – part of an initiative to limit the city’s ability to benefit from incarcerated people.

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