Begrudgingly helping

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Chuckawalla.

UCI: And, so, how is it being handled differently now? I know you’ve already kind of explained, you know, how it’s being handled differently now, but, like, is there anything that, you know, that troubles you and concerns you about the mannerism that it’s being handled now?

Caller: Is there anything that concerns me about the manner it’s being handled?

UCI: Yeah.

Caller: Well, I think the big part of it that concerns me is – oh, man, that’s a big question. You know, it’s – it’s how – how all of the – the guys in here, you know, how their lives – because it – the virus is very serious and, you know, while some guys will catch it and they’ll get better, there are guys here that I know that are in the hospital right now.

And the manner that, you know, the custody staff is taking it, that medical is – they’re doing what they can, but they’re not helping really at all to – they’re kind – it’s almost begrudgingly, it feels, that they’re doing anything just so that they can show on paper at least that they’re doing something. I think that’s probably the – the most concerning part of it.

UCI: And if possible, could you please tell us month-by-month how the situation has changed at your facility?

Caller: Oh, well, at the beginning of the pandemic, so about March-ish, you know, we here at Chuckawalla, we’re – we’re out in the middle of nowhere, so, you know, there wasn’t – there wasn’t a whole lot going on here, you know? We got locked down, but there wasn’t – there was no cases for a while.

Going into the summer, though, two of the other yards here, they exploded really because of the dorm setting. And we’re now the fourth – the fourth highest in coronavirus cases –

UCI: Wow.

Caller: – throughout the pandemic. And that was just over the course of months and the – just a month or two during the summer.

And then now going into the winter, my – it – it hit – there’s four yards. It hit the – it hit A and B and then – and that was a few thousand cases right there. And then it hit just recently in about September, it really ran through C yard, and I’m on D yard, and it finally got to us. And, so, it’s just the – because of how kind of spread out we are as far as we don’t have any contact with the other yards, but the officers all bounce between the yards.

And, so, one positive officer can jump two yards and now he’s infected both yards. So that was a big – a big thing here. And now it’s just kind of running through – through our yard and we’re probably going to – I don’t think we’ll make the third number – the – I don’t think we’re going to be number three, but we’re still rising as far as coronavirus cases.

And then one of the other – I just recently learned on C yard that they’re going through it again. They’re getting another wave over there.

UCI: Oh, wow.

Caller: So it’s – yeah, it’s – it – it gets really bad when it does get bad.

UCI: And what would you think would make the situation at your facility better?

Caller: Oh, man.

I guess the big – the – the big thing that would make it better is, you know, the addressing on prison overcrowding, that’s the big – the big one right there. That’s – but all that can’t happen, like, with the snap of a finger. I think if, you know, if the medical staff, they – they’re not – at least here – they – they don’t particularly follow the CDC guidelines as far as, like, we – we had somebody print them up and send them in as far as – as far as what to do with populations like ours, and they’re really just kind of flying in the face of everything that they’ve said as far as even on the CDC website.

So even if I’m sure if they did just the minimum that the CDC says to do, then things would be better.