This story was told by a person incarcerated at Donovan.
Caller: They have literally- literally directed all mental health personnel within CDCR that work at this institution to stop coming to this prison, and to facilitate or exercise their duties as mental health staff via the video chat if needed. They’re not doing any rounds, any welfare checks here at all.
And the reason why they’re doing that is because mental health and the current suspension of outdoor exercise and all these other bootleg policies that the warden is initiating is diametrically opposed.
So what they’ve done is they’ve basically moved all mental health out of the way and told them to- don’t even show up to work, because their job is to get us outdoors and get us exercise for our mental health and our physical welfare. So they’ve gotten them out of the picture, so now all the officers that work in the gym, which is like six of them, all they do is sit in the gym all day watching TV.
They don’t allow them to redirect them so that they can run outdoor exercise or security methods to make sure that the inmates can be escorted outdoors, get their yard, and be escorted back into the housing units without incident.
They’re using COVID-19 as a method to slam the entire prison unjustifiably without any regard to the federal orders about basic human needs for outdoor exercise. And this has been a long-standing problem, and it’s getting progressively worse. And it’s hard for these inmates in here to overcome these documents because 90% of them are uneducated, they don’t understand how to file appeals.
So I’m hoping that somebody who’s listening can contact the Human Rights Watch Organization in Downtown LA and talk to [redacted] about this and have her file an immediate court injunction- order against R.J. Donovan and have them cease and desist and get us outside so that we can get healthy.
Our bodies are weakened- we’re weakened. We haven’t even been outside for a god-awful 120 days confined to a nine by 10, like animals, literally. They don’t even- the American Humane Society doesn’t even allow animals to be treated like this.
And so I’m hoping that whoever is out there listening can help advocate on our behalf and get this change because we’re filing grievances, but we’re not being heard.
And we’re just sitting in these cells every day, 24 hours a day, even inmates that are combined in ad seg and lock ups in the holes, they’re getting outdoors every day, but we’re not and it doesn’t make any sense.