This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Wasco.
I send best wishes to you and your team during these challenging times we’re all going through. I suppose you have written to [redacted] about whether he had any issue(s) regarding rona’19.
He relay me the topic in which you asked to discuss if he had any problems/issues during our pandemic while incarcerated. And he came to me about it, so I decided to reach out to you. If that’s OK.
I’ve been incarcerated since 2017. Got to Wasco 2018. And was in the front line during this pandemic, and still going through it. So, I’ll be happy to share and answer your questions.
What has it been like to be inside during this time? In all fairness, a state of shock. Meaning, you don’t know what will happen next.
When we first learned that we needed face masks, cause let’s be real, we (inmates) can’t bring it in, it’s the staff and free staffs that bring it in to us. I personally had to wear “bandanas” to protect myself from them. We didn’t have no N95 masks.
Then when CDCR got a hang of it, they gave us “cloth” made out of the shirt or pants to wear. You couldn’t even breathe properly with it on. But, why do they or anyone else care. We’re “criminals.” But, to what avail?
How do you feel about your safety? For the most part, we did what we must to keep ourselves safe to the extent. Seeing how people was losing their lives outside was, I suppose got us to taking it seriously.
It’s your life you’re playing with. But, I speak for myself in saying this, I took this ordeal as I take every other day being incarcerated, keep my cell and myself clean and avoiding germs. Just more precisely now.
What I don’t get is, knowing that we/I did all this, CDCR still brought individuals who tested positive for the virus to our buildings. Going as far to placing them in our cells. SWH!
Then when you “refuse” to bring that person in your cell, you get a (115) write up. Where is that fairness or even safety in that?
What has it been like to have reduced visit from family and loved ones? For someone who went to visit regularly it’s hard. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. No one knows what it holds.
Not being able to see your family is overbearing to us. One phone call a day for 15 minutes isn’t enough must less compare to face to face contact. Some one that I know of adapted the form of using the tablets to use until they know when we will get back to normal.
But who’s to say when. They have a thousand employees working each prison if not more, they need to do Monday-Sunday visitation. In my opinion, I think that would be best, cause prison are approved to give us the tablets but they just hold on to them. What’s the purpose?
How long have you been coping with this crisis?
As I’ve said, I was here from the start. Instead of the governor, mayor, CDCR, etc., people in office sit and collectively come to an agreement on how to combat the prison system to reduce population.
They continuing sending people (who are infected) to prison. The few “bills” that’s being passed isn’t doing what it was meant to do. They still have restriction on them.
Like for example: what do your juvenile record has to do with a bill that’s passed in 2020 or 2021, when that incident took place in 2003 or later or earlier? They shouldn’t be pros and cons with Senate bills.
But I hope I didn’t take too much of your time. Didn’t mean to drag this out too long but it’s too much that people on the outside don’t know about. Take these restrictions off these bills that are being passed and then you’ll see the difference in prison.
“Enhancements” majority if not all inmates has them, just one of many ways to keep you away from your family and love ones.
I thank you and your group for what you do. We don’t have a voice inside these walls. So I humbly that you for us all.