This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Valley State.
I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me regarding my experience during this ongoing pandemic.
Straight to the missive.
I was at San Quentin State Prison when out of nowhere you hear on the speaker, the correctional officer says institutional lockdown. We just got done with the institutional search state-wide months prior so heavily that obviously put everyone in a panic. A few hours later the porters of the building started to walk down the tiers passing out PSRs to inform us of what’s going on.
It turned out we were on medical quarantine due to the first positive cases of COVID-19. This medical quarantine consisted to 24-hour confinement to your cell, no visits, no phone calls, no canteen, and no showers. Finally, after this cruel and unusual punishment, CDCR gave us yard and a phone call every other day which they took away from us again due to the rapid increase of positive cases.
They started to treat us as though we did something wrong. They took away the little freedom we were entitled to as inmates. They had categories for everyone they had resolved. Which means you had COVID and got over it, they had a negative category which meant you keep coming up negative every time you test and they had unknown which meant you refused to test.
Depending on what category you were in determined whether or not you got showers or phone calls and when. Sometimes it took three to four days for us to even get a chance to come out of our cell.
Personally being on the inside looking out, I’ve learned a few things and that’s always be prepared, always let your loved ones know you love them and care, and most important, be firm in your religious beliefs.
Thank you for your time.
Stay safe and take care.