Jamestown

SIERRA CONSERVATION CENTER IS LOCATED IN JAMESTOWN, CA,
HOUSING 4,393 PEOPLE.

Since March 2020, there have been 1,437 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this facility.

Stories from Jamestown

03/21
Sardines in a can
LISTEN
0:00
0:00

Sardines in a can

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Jamestown.

There is no possible way to social distance inside of any prison when you have overcrowding at an alarming rate. There is no possible social distancing in any institution that has dorm living such as Jamestown being at the top of the worst list as well as other prisons like Solano, Avenal, SATF, etc.

The question of my safety in regards to the virus is at a continued high because of how the housing conditions are set-up. And although I personally can take all of the necessary precautions, the fact of the matter is we’re not equipped to deal with such a virus that has the ability to be transmitted the way it does. Each individual’s close proximity jeopardizes the next person no matter what and it has been proven. Once I caught COVID but because of my strong regime and physical fitness I didn’t even realize I had the virus.

And to be honest it’s still in question for me because they have not given me any form of proof that I caught COVID, just their word of mouth.

The other thing that puts people at risk is the fact that there is so much intake inside of the prison. That all it takes is someone else’s negligence to not quarantine the right inmate and allow that person to be placed in the population. And there the outbreak begins which has also occurred here in Jamestown. Creating a massive problem such as San Quentin had in the middle of last year.

The circumstances of anyone safety can never be secured inside of prison unless there are some changes within the system in how they house individuals. And according to the administration that controls CDCR custody factors, inmate population control will never be set in a safe and realistic manner based on the reasoning of overcrowding even at the lowest levels. So all forms of viruses and diseases are possible to catch no matter what the severity of its transmission.

PrisonPandemic, you must keep in mind that safety is determined on conditions. So if the conditions of how the system houses people and the factors of that housing are poop, such as the ability to maintain reasonable space, the ability to clean, the right to be housed, without mold infested dorms, cells, bathrooms, or showers such as this place has.

Being placed in dorms where plumbing is tremendously bad especially for 32 people housed in a closet holding one urinal, two toilets, three sinks, and one shower with the closet space room for sitting in a TV room or dayroom with no tables. So there you have a visual of how it is so high in possibilities to get sick here because of constant use of the same common areas by so many people in the small but limited space. Sardines in a can is the best description.

The full story

Go Back

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

Greetings PrisonPandemic,

I hope that my letter finds you in great spirit and that all that evolves around you meaning family and friends, because we are definitely in a time where support from any direction is needed while this crazy pandemic is in existence.

I received your open invitation to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 that we’ve all had to, face but I want to minimize the fact that any environment is better than one when it has to go through something so tragic as that particular virus.

Let me first start by saying that I am a life term inmate that has spent the last now moving towards 36 years of incarceration inside of this system. I was the 12th juvenile in California to be trialed as an adult which is basically grown up and matured as well as educated myself completely.

Here I find myself beyond imagination in Jamestown which is a level one camp reception institution which I will never be afforded to go to camp but I’m here for the purpose of having the opportunity to be released home. While being here in Jamestown I would have to rate this place at a low three in the form of being placed in some inhumane condition. Starting with the housing units which occupy 32 inmates with a space between ACH of approximately three feet during this six feet social distance requirement.

You ask the question on how do we compare to the society norms of dealing with this pandemic. We don’t compare because the whole situation is contradictory to what is required based on the needs of the individuals that dictate the movement of the system. It’s sort of the saying “out of sight, out of mind”, so what the public and Sacramento don’t see doesn’t hurt.

There is no possible way to social distance inside of any prison when you have overcrowding at an alarming rate. There is no possible social distancing in any institution that has dorm living such as Jamestown being at the top of the worst list as well as other prisons like Solano, Avenal, SATF, etc.

The question of my safety in regards to the virus is at a continued high because of how the housing conditions are set-up. And although I personally can take all of the necessary precautions, the fact of the matter is we’re not equipped to deal with such a virus that has the ability to be transmitted the way it does. Each individual’s close proximity jeopardizes the next person no matter what and it has been proven. Once I caught COVID but because of my strong regime and physical fitness I didn’t even realize I had the virus.

And to be honest it’s still in question for me because they have not given me any form of proof that I caught COVID, just their word of mouth.

The other thing that puts people at risk is the fact that there is so much intake inside of the prison. That all it takes is someone else’s negligence to not quarantine the right inmate and allow that person to be placed into the population. And there the outbreak begins which has also occurred here in Jamestown. Creating a massive problem such as San Quentin had in the middle of last year.

The circumstances of anyone safety can never be secured inside of prison unless there are some changes within the system in how they house individuals. And according to the administration that controls CDCR custody factors, inmate population control will never be set in a safe and realistic manner based on the reasoning of overcrowding even at the lowest levels. So all forms of viruses and diseases are possible to catch no matter what the severity of its transmission.

PrisonPandemic, you must keep in mind that safety is determined on conditions. So if the conditions of how the system houses people and the factors of that housing are poop, such as the ability to maintain reasonable space, the ability to clean, the right to be housed, without mold infested dorms, cells, bathrooms, or showers such as this place has.

Being placed in dorms where plumbing is tremendously bad especially for 32 people housed in a closet holding one urinal, two toilets, three sinks, and one shower with the closet space room for sitting in a TV room or dayroom with no tables. So there you have a visual of how it is so high in possibilities to get sick here because of constant use of the same common areas by so many people in the small but limited space. Sardines in a can is the best description.

12/20
Lack of cleanliness
LISTEN
0:00

Lack of cleanliness

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Jamestown.

My experiences with COVID-19 at Sierra Conservation Center have been of high anxiety and high exposure, this facility’s procedures have caused almost 90 percent of its population to contract the virus. And I’ll tell you how, when COVID-19 was first detected at this facility it was contained with housing units isolated from others which resulted in self feeding to those isolated units. After our first phase of resolved cases a free staff kitchen worker came into the facility positive, therefore resulting the inmate kitchen workers to be exposed or have contracted the virus.

Those inmates went to their housing units for at least two days before being tested for COVID-19 in the process spread the virus among none sick inmates. Then it became a live domino effect and here is what they did! An inmate was tested today and then two days later a positive test comes back, they move him to another housing with inmates. And the exposed inmates tested then moved into another housing unit (dorm) before rest results are back.

Moved into a housing unit with inmates who haven’t had a positive result or exposed to a positive inmate, that rapid and constant movement cased SCC to move to number one infection in CDCR during December 23rd to the 31st 2020. After all the bad moves CDCR made, SCC had 60 inmates that didn’t get COVID-19 and I am one of those inmates.

But I feel others shouldn’t have even contracted the virus and wouldn’t have if the CDCR here at SCC didn’t move exposed inmates into housing units with healthy non exposed inmates, that just isn’t right. But my small voice isn’t loud enough to cause attention to the correct people to stop things like this, were inmate true, but we are also human beings as well. SCC got its inmates sick with unnecessary movements, lack of staff testing, and lack of cleanliness.

This place is a mess especially the living quarters, I have only filed a complaint with the inspector general to try and get this place to move its feet on getting this place up to code.

Lack of cleanliness

Go Back

03/21
Concentration camp
LISTEN
0:00

Concentration camp

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Jamestown.

Dear PrisonPandemic,

Thanks for your letter and concern.

I’ll try to explain my experience, thoughts and realization. I am a 50 year old man serving 11 years. I am filled with mixed emotions when it comes down to this sickness. They promote social distancing but we’re crowded in a small area where it’s completely ignored.

I tested negative week after week and without a positive test I was moved to another dorm where inmates were positive or getting over it. If I did get it I didn’t feel it and it came and went. I am now in a dorm that’s supposed to be for 15 inmates but they have 30 inmates with no room. I wear my mask most of the time and I am clean and I wash my hands.

I was given my first shot and I felt sick and my arm was sore for the day. I am waiting on my second shot. I am hoping for the best and relying on the Creator to help me get through the remaining six years I have to serve.

I look at this place as a concentration camp where people come to die. My wishes is to remain where I am currently housed and do my schooling and drug classes. I’ve been moved three times and I only been here a year. Instead of containing the sickness they’re spreading it by moving everyone around so much.

Well thanks for your time. If you have any more questions please write as you know this is a sad and lonely place. Make sound and good decisions.

Best wishes.

Concentration camp

Go Back

03/21
One day at a time
LISTEN
0:00

One day at a time

HEAR THE FULL STORY

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Jamestown.

Dear PrisonPandemic,

Thank you for writing me. I been trying to express myself to someone about this COVID-19 pandemic. Well it’s been rough now to be inside because people was testing positive for COVID-19.

Even though I tested negative, they moved everybody around in different dorms and infected the whole yard, then locked down the whole prison for two weeks.

I feel like my safety inside has been jeopardized. Because they infected the whole yard and moved me in a dorm with someone who tested positive even though I was negative, and I could’ve caught COVID-19. Some people who have caught COVID-19 has died so I think this prison put me in a dangerous situation.

I think reduced visitation from family and loved ones is horrible because everyone needs visitation and phone calls to family and friends. ‘Cause the way this pandemic going you might not see your family and friends anymore.

Anything can happen, and that’s scary. How I been coping with this crisis is I just been taking it one day at a time, calling my family every chance I get, working out to stay healthy, and reading different books to exercise the mind.

The vaccination is not going at the facility because inmates are scared to take it. I took both shots but I don’t know if I’m COVID free, but I sure do hope so. I’m glad I was able to express myself to the PrisonPandemic Project. It’s nice to be heard.

Thank you!

Sincerely.

One day at a time

Go Back

Share These Stories
Shine a light on this crisis and share these
stories with your network today!