Folsom

FOLSOM STATE PRISON IS LOCATED IN REPRESA, CA,
HOUSING 2,871 PEOPLE.

Since March 2020, there have been 1,372 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 deaths, at this facility.

Stories from Folsom

01/21
Misinformation age
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Misinformation age

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes the man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Or am I in a rush to conclude the day, and start another just to see my hopes diminish.

Helpless, my hands are tied, and I’m forced to watch my fellow man pass away. I owe a debt to society, I plead with the powers that be to put me on the front line of the fight. It’s either that or sit here and wait for one of the COs to come personally hand me a case of corona. I wasn’t too fond of corona as a beverage, even less as a virus.

We are at the height of misinformation age. Whatever this pandemic is, it is not a hoax. My debt to society only requires a certain number of years to be forfeit, not my entire life. This is a deadly virus.

So anyone knowingly having the virus to go around other’s who do not have it, is clear and reckless endangerment and is no less than attempted murder. They sent officers from Folsom who didn’t have the virus to prison that at the time were hot spots, and then had them return to their original posts.

For the most part the inmates perform the majority of work done. When there is a major lock down they resort to critical works. When it’s something of their magnitude, the COs are forced to earn their check. Because they are forced to earn their pay they turn around and take out their frustration and anger out on us. This is manifested in so many cruel, unethical and psychological fashions.

The full story

Go Back

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom. Click the play button again to hear their full story.

January 4, 2021

Early to bed, early to rise, makes the man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Or am I in a rush to conclude the day, and start another just to see my hopes diminish.

Helpless, my hands are tied, and I’m forced to watch my fellow man pass away. I owe a debt to society, I plead with the powers that be to put me on the front line of the fight. It’s either that or sit here and wait for one of the COs to come personally hand me a case of corona. I wasn’t too fond of corona as a beverage, even less as a virus.

We are at the height of misinformation age. Whatever this pandemic is, it is not a hoax. My debt to society only requires a certain number of years to be forfeit, not my entire life. This is a deadly virus.

So anyone knowingly having the virus to go around other’s who do not have it, is clear and reckless endangerment and is no less than attempted murder. They sent officers from Folsom who didn’t have the virus to prison that at the time were hot spots, and then had them return to their original posts.

For the most part the inmates perform the majority of work done. When there is a major lock down they resort to critical works. When it’s something of their magnitude, the COs are forced to earn their check. Because they are forced to earn their pay they turn around and take out their frustration and anger out on us. This is manifested in so many cruel, unethical and psychological fashions.

We have been without visits for almost a year, the fallout from just that will rear its head for years to come. In here we are on a different time scheme. So certain simple acts that most take for granted might dictate the entire course for the rest of our lives, something as simple as an in person visit on some random Saturday. We are being treated as if we have gone exploring some cave in China and got into an altercation with a bat.

We are suffering losses like everyone else except we have people intentionally trying to make the situation more uncomfortable than it already is. The free world is the only hope we have, so to sit here and watch what is taking place is very disheartening and upsetting. And top it off with some idiot going out of their way to incite some sort of disruption, this is a potential powder keg.

We cry foul (write grievances) cause if we don’t cry foul it may end up in a “flagrant foul.” It’s bad for us in Folsom because they are doing things in an arbitrary fashion. They are violating procedures.

No one is taking this seriously, but they should because once we have nothing else to lose, then there’s nothing to lose and when it gets there, it’s bad for anyone there.

I myself have had to use the mental health services behind one of the officer’s turning me into the object of their attention. And all I want is to be left alone to do my time. Even with the overcrowding in our prison system, this is the loneliest place in the world. The only attention I’m getting is from some psychologically disturbed individual. And it’s the wrong kind of attention.

Under these conditions, it would almost be impossible to rehabilitate a person unless they have an unrelentless will and a support system. Jesus. And whoever else one may turn to in time of need.

Picture how I’m roll’n but hold’n it down.

But now I’m being analyzed, mistreated and abused every time they make they rounds.

(10 days straight. No showers, 10 degree temps!)

And our main concern was how the free world was coming along.

04/21
Impossible to dodge
LISTEN
0:00
0:00

Impossible to dodge

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom.

So far PrisonPandemic, I’ve been one of the lucky one who have not caught the deadly virus, that has turned this prison setting in a whole different direction for the worst for us incarcerated people. It has definitely been one scary and fearful situation trying out best not to catch the virus. But unfortunately, for some of us here at Folsom State Prison, It was impossible to dodge the virus.

And that’s because the people that runs this institution has continued to allow their employees who are infected with the virus to come on the facility rounds with only a temperature check.

On top of that, they sent some of their officers to San Quentin State Prison to assist them with the massive outbreak of the virus, then allowed those same officers to come back here and work around the inmates. So, somewhere at the end of June 2020, a couple of correction officers and a nurse tested positive for the virus. So in July 2020, the medical staff COVID tested every inmate at this institution.

Not one inmate came back positive. But in August 2020, a free staff that worked in PIA tested positive for the virus. So again that same day, the medical staff tested all of the inmates.

But just like the first time, there weren’t any positive tests coming back. But for some reason the warden decided to quarantine the inmates and shut down all movement for us. “No yard, no visits, no phone calls, no work, no school, no self help programs, and no walking to the chow hall.”

The full story

Go Back

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom. Click the play button again to hear their full story.

Dear PrisonPandemic,

How are you? Well, I sincerely hope that these few lines find you in the very best of health. As for myself, I’m good! Well first and foremost, I want to thank you for the utmost welcome letter that you sent me.

It really felt good to know that there are people on the outside that cares about us incarcerated people.

So far PrisonPandemic, I’ve been one of the lucky one who have not caught the deadly virus, that has turned this prison setting in a whole different direction for the worst for us incarcerated people. It has definitely been one scary and fearful situation trying out best not to catch the virus. But unfortunately, for some of us here at Folsom State Prison, It was impossible to dodge the virus.

And that’s because the people that runs this institution has continued to allow their employees who are infected with the virus to come on the facility rounds with only a temperature check.

On top of that, they sent some of their officers to San Quentin State Prison to assist them with the massive outbreak of the virus, then allowed those same officers to come back here and work around the inmates. So, somewhere at the end of June 2020, a couple of correction officers and a nurse tested positive for the virus. So in July 2020, the medical staff COVID tested every inmate at this institution.

Not one inmate came back positive. But in August 2020, a free staff that worked in PIA tested positive for the virus. So again that same day, the medical staff tested all of the inmates.

But just like the first time, there weren’t any positive tests coming back. But for some reason the warden decided to quarantine the inmates and shut down all movement for us. “No yard, no visits, no phone calls, no work, no school, no self help programs, and no walking to the chow hall.”

But what had everybody confused is that the officers who were here when the virus first hit wasn’t quarantined at all. They continued to come to work. As the days and weeks went by, they continued to COVID test us with that painful, long q-tip up our noses. They continue to cell feed us with those uncovered paper plates that were exposed to the cold air.

Which felt like we were in solitary confinement being punished for a deadly virus that was brought into this institution from the public by prison employees.

Anyway, things really turned for the worst when the medical staff started testing us with the ew rapid COVID testing kits. All of a sudden hundreds and hundreds of inmates started testing positive for the virus in the building where those officers that came back from San Quentin Prison worked. After that the virus was in every building, so the institution brought the tents on the yard and started housing all of the positive inmates in them for 14 days quarantine.

Now every three days after we took the test we had to listen to see if our names were going to be called to roll up some of our property. Which meant that we were being moved outside to the tents because the tests came back positive.

In the meantime, a lot of us didn’t want to take the new test because we felt like something wasn’t right with it but was told that it was mandatory that we had to take it. Many of us felt like we were being treated like we were lab rats being experimented on. We even stopped accepting the food that was being brought to us by the officers in case of catching the virus.

Anyway, as of today April 2021, I’ve been COVID tested 33 times and I’ve taken both vaccination shots and they are still forcing us to take a COVID test which doesn’t make any sense.

PrisonPandemic, I can go on and on about the things that have occurred here since the pandemic hitted here but Imma end it there. I don’t know if what I’ve told you would help you with your story but it’s the truth. Thank you again for the letter you wrote. I gave a few of my friends you hook up. They wanted to write you.

Have a good day.

01/21
Violating procedures
LISTEN
0:00
0:00

Violating procedures

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom.

We have been without visits for almost a year, the fallout from just that will rear its head for years to come. In here we are on a different time scheme. So certain simple acts that most take for granted might dictate the entire course for the rest of our lives, something as simple as an in person visit on some random Saturday. We are being treated as if we have gone exploring some cave in China and got into an altercation with a bat.

We are suffering losses like everyone else except we have people intentionally trying to make the situation more uncomfortable than it already is. The free world is the only hope we have, so to sit here and watch what is taking place is very disheartening and upsetting. And top it off with some idiot going out of their way to incite some sort of disruption, this is a potential powder keg.

We cry foul (write grievances) cause if we don’t cry foul it may end up in a “flagrant foul.” It’s bad for us in Folsom because they are doing things in an arbitrary fashion. They are violating procedures.

No one is taking this seriously, but they should because once we have nothing else to lose, then there’s nothing to lose and when it gets there, it’s bad for anyone there.

I myself have had to use the mental health services behind one of the officer’s turning me into the object of their attention. And all I want is to be left alone to do my time. Even with the overcrowding in our prison system, this is the loneliest place in the world. The only attention I’m getting is from some psychologically disturbed individual. And it’s the wrong kind of attention.

Under these conditions, it would almost be impossible to rehabilitate a person unless they have an unrelentless will and a support system. Jesus. And whoever else one may turn to in time of need.

Picture how I’m roll’n but hold’n it down.

But now I’m being analyzed, mistreated and abused every time they make they rounds.

(10 days straight. No showers, 10 degree temps!)

And our main concern was how the free world was coming along.

The full story

Go Back

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom. Click the play button again to hear their full story.

January 4, 2021

Early to bed, early to rise, makes the man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Or am I in a rush to conclude the day, and start another just to see my hopes diminish.

Helpless, my hands are tied, and I’m forced to watch my fellow man pass away. I owe a debt to society, I plead with the powers that be to put me on the front line of the fight. It’s either that or sit here and wait for one of the COs to come personally hand me a case of corona. I wasn’t too fond of corona as a beverage, even less as a virus.

We are at the height of misinformation age. Whatever this pandemic is, it is not a hoax. My debt to society only requires a certain number of years to be forfeit, not my entire life. This is a deadly virus.

So anyone knowingly having the virus to go around other’s who do not have it, is clear and reckless endangerment and is no less than attempted murder. They sent officers from Folsom who didn’t have the virus to prison that at the time were hot spots, and then had them return to their original posts.

For the most part the inmates perform the majority of work done. When there is a major lock down they resort to critical works. When it’s something of their magnitude, the COs are forced to earn their check. Because they are forced to earn their pay they turn around and take out their frustration and anger out on us. This is manifested in so many cruel, unethical and psychological fashions.

We have been without visits for almost a year, the fallout from just that will rear its head for years to come. In here we are on a different time scheme. So certain simple acts that most take for granted might dictate the entire course for the rest of our lives, something as simple as an in person visit on some random Saturday. We are being treated as if we have gone exploring some cave in China and got into an altercation with a bat.

We are suffering losses like everyone else except we have people intentionally trying to make the situation more uncomfortable than it already is. The free world is the only hope we have, so to sit here and watch what is taking place is very disheartening and upsetting. And top it off with some idiot going out of their way to incite some sort of disruption, this is a potential powder keg.

We cry foul (write grievances) cause if we don’t cry foul it may end up in a “flagrant foul.” It’s bad for us in Folsom because they are doing things in an arbitrary fashion. They are violating procedures.

No one is taking this seriously, but they should because once we have nothing else to lose, then there’s nothing to lose and when it gets there, it’s bad for anyone there.

I myself have had to use the mental health services behind one of the officer’s turning me into the object of their attention. And all I want is to be left alone to do my time. Even with the overcrowding in our prison system, this is the loneliest place in the world. The only attention I’m getting is from some psychologically disturbed individual. And it’s the wrong kind of attention.

Under these conditions, it would almost be impossible to rehabilitate a person unless they have an unrelentless will and a support system. Jesus. And whoever else one may turn to in time of need.

Picture how I’m roll’n but hold’n it down.

But now I’m being analyzed, mistreated and abused every time they make they rounds.

(10 days straight. No showers, 10 degree temps!)

And our main concern was how the free world was coming along.

06/20
Turned for the worst
LISTEN
0:00
0:00

Turned for the worst

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom.

But what had everybody confused is that the officers who were here when the virus first hit wasn’t quarantined at all. They continued to come to work. As the days and weeks went by, they continued to COVID test us with that painful, long q-tip up our noses. They continue to cell feed us with those uncovered paper plates that were exposed to the cold air.

Which felt like we were in solitary confinement being punished for a deadly virus that was brought into this institution from the public by prison employees.

Anyway, things really turned for the worst when the medical staff started testing us with the ew rapid COVID testing kits. All of a sudden hundreds and hundreds of inmates started testing positive for the virus in the building where those officers that came back from San Quentin Prison worked. After that the virus was in every building, so the institution brought the tents on the yard and started housing all of the positive inmates in them for 14 days quarantine.

Now every three days after we took the test we had to listen to see if our names were going to be called to roll up some of our property. Which meant that we were being moved outside to the tents because the tests came back positive.

In the meantime, a lot of us didn’t want to take the new test because we felt like something wasn’t right with it but was told that it was mandatory that we had to take it. Many of us felt like we were being treated like we were lab rats being experimented on. We even stopped accepting the food that was being brought to us by the officers in case of catching the virus.

Anyway, as of today April 2021, I’ve been COVID tested 33 times and I’ve taken both vaccination shots and they are still forcing us to take a COVID test which doesn’t make any sense.

The full story

Go Back

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom. Click the play button again to hear their full story.

Dear PrisonPandemic,

How are you? Well, I sincerely hope that these few lines find you in the very best of health. As for myself, I’m good! Well first and foremost, I want to thank you for the utmost welcome letter that you sent me.

It really felt good to know that there are people on the outside that cares about us incarcerated people.

So far PrisonPandemic, I’ve been one of the lucky one who have not caught the deadly virus, that has turned this prison setting in a whole different direction for the worst for us incarcerated people. It has definitely been one scary and fearful situation trying out best not to catch the virus. But unfortunately, for some of us here at Folsom State Prison, It was impossible to dodge the virus.

And that’s because the people that runs this institution has continued to allow their employees who are infected with the virus to come on the facility rounds with only a temperature check.

On top of that, they sent some of their officers to San Quentin State Prison to assist them with the massive outbreak of the virus, then allowed those same officers to come back here and work around the inmates. So, somewhere at the end of June 2020, a couple of correction officers and a nurse tested positive for the virus. So in July 2020, the medical staff COVID tested every inmate at this institution.

Not one inmate came back positive. But in August 2020, a free staff that worked in PIA tested positive for the virus. So again that same day, the medical staff tested all of the inmates.

But just like the first time, there weren’t any positive tests coming back. But for some reason the warden decided to quarantine the inmates and shut down all movement for us. “No yard, no visits, no phone calls, no work, no school, no self help programs, and no walking to the chow hall.”

But what had everybody confused is that the officers who were here when the virus first hit wasn’t quarantined at all. They continued to come to work. As the days and weeks went by, they continued to COVID test us with that painful, long q-tip up our noses. They continue to cell feed us with those uncovered paper plates that were exposed to the cold air.

Which felt like we were in solitary confinement being punished for a deadly virus that was brought into this institution from the public by prison employees.

Anyway, things really turned for the worst when the medical staff started testing us with the ew rapid COVID testing kits. All of a sudden hundreds and hundreds of inmates started testing positive for the virus in the building where those officers that came back from San Quentin Prison worked. After that the virus was in every building, so the institution brought the tents on the yard and started housing all of the positive inmates in them for 14 days quarantine.

Now every three days after we took the test we had to listen to see if our names were going to be called to roll up some of our property. Which meant that we were being moved outside to the tents because the tests came back positive.

In the meantime, a lot of us didn’t want to take the new test because we felt like something wasn’t right with it but was told that it was mandatory that we had to take it. Many of us felt like we were being treated like we were lab rats being experimented on. We even stopped accepting the food that was being brought to us by the officers in case of catching the virus.

Anyway, as of today April 2021, I’ve been COVID tested 33 times and I’ve taken both vaccination shots and they are still forcing us to take a COVID test which doesn’t make any sense.

PrisonPandemic, I can go on and on about the things that have occurred here since the pandemic hitted here but Imma end it there. I don’t know if what I’ve told you would help you with your story but it’s the truth. Thank you again for the letter you wrote. I gave a few of my friends you hook up. They wanted to write you.

Have a good day.

03/20
The stress levels up
LISTEN
0:00
0:00

The stress levels up

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I was skeptical about the severity of the problem. It wasn’t until March Madness and other million, if not billion, dollar events were being cancelled and the death tolls were calculated daily, that I took the virus seriously. My first thought went to my wife and our youngest son because they both have asthma and other respiratory issues.

The feeling of helplessness inside me was immediately amplified drastically. My next worry was my wife had a one person income, how is she going to survive! Guilt ran through me for not being there to help.

As a healthcare worker that soon drifted because she was putting in full time work hours, but being at work increased exposure to her sensitive lungs. It wasn’t until she received both vaccine shots that I took a breath.

All three of our children were now virtual learning and we’re at home now. By the grace of God my oldest is 15, the youngest is 10, and my wife worked two blocks from the house. In order to cope with my stress I would listen to lean heaviest on my faith in Jesus Christ. I have a biological mother, my foster mom, and an older brother to use as a sound board.

I would use coloring as a form of therapy. Enclosed is one of these pictures. Having constant communication with my wife, children, and family was crucial. Reduced/cancelled visiting has basically no effect on me personally because I didn’t get them.

However, looking and listening around you could feel the morale was down. With less incentive to do well and the stress levels up, so were the violent incidents.

I felt safe from the violence because I did my best to not put myself in bad situations. As far as COVID, initially I felt safe then I followed the San Quentin fatality rate on the news and began to worry, once again overcome by helplessness. I found solace in knowing there were no cases here at Folsom.

Then once the free staff here tested positive I knew it was a short matter of time before we were all exposed. There is no practical way to social distance in prisons. There are just too many people in too small of a facility. We were taken down and tested regularly.

Those who tested positive were segregated from those who are not. They brought in a COVID strike force to help.

When I contacted COVID I was sent to the woman’s side with multiple others. It didn’t do much more to me than the flu. I lost my smell and taste, I slept a lot, and experienced reduced breathing capacity. In two weeks I was brought back, have since been vaccinated and I’m doing well.

I’m taking a business, psychology, and US history class through com

The full story

Go Back

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Folsom. Click the play button again to hear their full story.

PrisonPandemic,

Forgive me if I misspelled “Solon,” that’s what I made out from the signature. Obviously I, writing this letter in response to your inquiry letter about my COVID-19 experience as an incarcerated inmate. I’ll begin with a brief background of myself then describe my COVID experience.

You already know my name, what you don’t know is my maiden name, so to speak. Yeah I took my wife’s last name when we married! That’s another story for another time. We are high school sweethearts, have been together 24 years and married for 15 years.

We have three sons together. I got into meth stemming from a cocaine habit, pushed away from my family, and ended up shooting a man and left him in the planter box to die. I ended up with nine years at 85 percent to serve in prison. Just a brief description of who you are corresponding with to your letter.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I was skeptical about the severity of the problem. It wasn’t until March Madness and other million, if not billion, dollar events were being cancelled and the death tolls were calculated daily, that I took the virus seriously. My first thought went to my wife and our youngest son because they both have asthma and other respiratory issues.

The feeling of helplessness inside me was immediately amplified drastically. My next worry was my wife had a one person income, how is she going to survive! Guilt ran through me for not being there to help.

As a healthcare worker that soon drifted because she was putting in full time work hours, but being at work increased exposure to her sensitive lungs. It wasn’t until she received both vaccine shots that I took a breath.

All three of our children were now virtual learning and we’re at home now. By the grace of God my oldest is 15, the youngest is 10, and my wife worked two blocks from the house. In order to cope with my stress I would listen to lean heaviest on my faith in Jesus Christ. I have a biological mother, my foster mom, and an older brother to use as a sound board.

I would use coloring as a form of therapy. Enclosed is one of these pictures. Having constant communication with my wife, children, and family was crucial. Reduced/cancelled visiting has basically no effect on me personally because I didn’t get them.

However, looking and listening around you could feel the morale was down. With less incentive to do well and the stress levels up, so were the violent incidents.

I felt safe from the violence because I did my best to not put myself in bad situations. As far as COVID, initially I felt safe then I followed the San Quentin fatality rate on the news and began to worry, once again overcome by helplessness. I found solace in knowing there were no cases here at Folsom.

Then once the free staff here tested positive I knew it was a short matter of time before we were all exposed. There is no practical way to social distance in prisons. There are just too many people in too small of a facility. We were taken down and tested regularly.

Those who tested positive were segregated from those who are not. They brought in a COVID strike force to help.

When I contacted COVID I was sent to the woman’s side with multiple others. It didn’t do much more to me than the flu. I lost my smell and taste, I slept a lot, and experienced reduced breathing capacity. In two weeks I was brought back, have since been vaccinated and I’m doing well.

I’m taking a business, psychology, and US history class through community college, attend a substance abuse class in the afternoon, then cut hair as a barber at night. I have about one and a half years left on my sentence and then I’ll begin the next chapter of my life. I hope this helps and thank you for taking the time to read my story.

God bless.

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