This story was told by a person incarcerated at an ICE/Private-Contractor facility.
Caller: Basically, I’ve been dealing with the state, the thing is, they keep me in an area that I don’t live in. They forced me to parole out here. There are unions and stuff, like the prison guard unions and all that—they lobby these state politicians like Governor Newsom and stuff, and they get them to pass laws, and they keep people incarcerated.
They make them, you know, the parole and stuff, they make you do parole on top of your prison sentence, it just keeps the door coming. It’s a big revolving door. It keeps you coming back.
I’ve basically been dealing with that they forced me to live somewhere I don’t live at and the police out there don’t really like me. They’ve actually made death threats towards me. That was my last prison term that has me on parole right now.
The sheriffs— I’m known to go to like suicide watch like after getting locked up so much just to get away from other inmates, you get kind of tired of getting locked up, and that’s all parole does is keep locking you up, so. I go to suicide watches, and the sheriffs they made a threat, I said suicide by cop, and that was in 2018.
Basically, they had a situation where they had me under the in- I was under the influence, and which is—dealing with this area and stuff, I have no resources here, and so I’ve resorted to using drugs, they won’t let me go back home. The state parole won’t so I’ve had a lot of trouble with the police in this area, it’s a really small county, like both the two counties, and they really don’t like me. They said death by cop, suicide by cop, and then two days later, I was at a house, and I know this is pretty extreme, but it is actually pretty routine out in this area.
But I was under the influence, and they said it was a standoff with the police, but they were inside the house with me, told everybody to leave, and they continued to talk to me and all that stuff, and he said looking right at me, knowing I’m on parole, with a smile knowing who I was. So they said again that night suicide by cop, so they tried to say it was a standoff. But it really wasn’t.
I have witnesses. I’ve been back to the location since then, and even the witnesses without me telling them the threat, the death threat the police had had against me, the witnesses even say that “Hey, they were going to kill you that night.” So um, this time they forced me to parole out here again.
I wrote grievances with the state parole board. I wrote um-they are not even supposed to parole you back to an area like this. It’s called the “County of Commitment”, the county that you went to prison from before, they’re not supposed to parole you back there because according to state law, people are more likely to reoffend like get new cases, so they’re supposed to send you back to where you live.
You have more resources. You know, that’s where you lived. Where I lived then was in [redacted], but they barred me from going back home, and they keep me out here. I wrote out grievances to the state board and for the parole board and I wrote notices to the court requesting that you guys transfer my parole somewhere else.
I’m in fear for my safety. These guys said suicide by cop, and then two days later, they said it again and said it was a standoff when it was nothing but disorderly conduct, me being under the influence you know. Now what happened now is I just got out, and they forced me to come back out here. They’ve been falsely arresting me, picking me up on bogus charges, laughing about it.
They’ve done it four times in less than two months, from June to August I believe. There have been just four bogus arrests on both sides of the river— there’s two counties that are interconnected here and the guys over here know the guys over there, they go back and forth and stuff. Those were involved in the situation in 2018.
But they’ve been refusing to let me shower, refusing to let me come out of my cell. I have a tablet in the cell right now. That’s why it has bad reception. But, yeah, they’ve been refusing to let me come out to shower. They’ve been trying to provoke me, trying to get into it with me, laughing.
They had their inmate workers that they bring stuff in for, and their inmate workers assaulted me and took property—they took stuff out of my property, and when I said something, they used physical force and removed me and still let the guys go through my property. Then when I file grievances, they throw them away or tell me I can’t grieve to them.
It’s been a—I understand other people are in, you know, situations and maybe they might not understand my situation, but I’m really not criminal oriented. My issue has been with the police doing things to me, and I do things back. It’s not the smartest thing, but you see them do so much criminal stuff.
I have no, that is no, anything towards civilians, and I don’t have any problems with the public, you know, with civilians, I’m not an aggressive person. I just um, you get tired of the stuff you see these guys do. It’s all about these guys’ unions and these places. It’s not about public safety. It’s just about their unions.
They get laws passed and keep people just incarcerated but it just puts big bucks in their pocket. The thing is, the main ones in these places committing the crimes is them whether or not the public knows it.
In California, at least, I don’t know about other states, but in California, and I’m well-acquainted with the system in California, the inmates actually cater to the guards. I mean like these guards they actually—they use inmates, they have them assault other inmates.
The FBI people have had to go after them before for getting inmates killed. They were called “The Green Wall” in Corcoran State Prison, but these days it is more broad. It’s all over. It starts at the county jail. Even the inmates, they serve the guards.
You say the inmates are criminal and they like the guards, what does that tell you about your guards, you know? It’s real criminal, but it’s like I don’t- it’s got me frustrated, but it’s just I wish I can go back home and spend—every time I come out here they do something, and then if I look at them wrong, I’ve been assaulted, and the other county jail they got tired of me going to suicide watches.
Their captain even said— he came in panic one day and said they were going to assault me. I think it was like a day or two later they did. Then I did the lowest thing back after getting drug across the floor and socked in the jaw and stuff by them, I did the lowest thing, and they sent me back to prison for that. I even told the public defender, I said, “Hey, man. Look at the camera in the room.”
He said, “Oh, well, we can’t see anything but their backs.” Yeah, it’s been frustrating. I’m at my peak with frustration, I guess you know. Like I said, last time it was death threats, and this time it’s been false arrests. They laugh about it when they show up. It’s a real small area. That is pretty much how I spent my—
UCI: Yeah absolutely, so what has the COVID situation been like each time you’ve gone in?
Caller: It wasn’t—I just got out of a state facility, and we were like locked down. We were getting—I was actually excited. I felt kind of bad actually because I was like, we were locked up, we were amongst the first I think of the public really to get the Moderna vaccinations. I was really excited about that. I got it in February. During this time, when they picked me up on this arrest right now, what was it? August.
These guys they show up particularly. It was kind of annoying to me because they are still running guys in and out for violations. The petty stuff, it’s a small county. It’s how they make money is locking people up.
They’ve been keeping them coming, but we had breakouts. I was in a unit—a quarantine unit, and we had- they had two guys come down with it in a unit of 20 cells, so it could house like up to 40 people, but they had two guys come down with it within—it was actually like the day I got there or a day before I got there, two guys came down with it.
Then another, I think it was six after that. It was like eight total in one week. I know there are 20 cells, but I we didn’t have everybody double celled, so we only had like 20 people in there, and I was kind of amazed because the walls aren’t—it’s not completely sealed. Like the front part of your cell is open.
How do you say, it’s like, there’s no covering, like there’s no wall. It is just a metal thing like a grille or something. So, I was really surprised. It’s really a small unit and had like eight guys in one week come down with it.
UCI: What has been your—
Caller: They’ve been—
UCI: Go ahead, sorry.
Caller: Oh, no. For a while there, we couldn’t go to court or anything. They were just giving us styrofoam trays.
UCI: Yeah, I was going to ask how has the court process been?
Caller: How has what now?
UCI: The court process during COVID.
Caller: I’m sorry. This thing is getting bad reception.
UCI: That’s okay. I’ll say it one more time. The whole court process during COVID, how has that been for you?
Caller: They were going to court, and, like I said, the guys broke out with it. So then they said- they just told- everybody just got notices. Like, no court. I don’t know if they closed-the courthouse here is part of the jail.
So, I don’t know if they closed the whole courthouse down or they just closed it down to us, but I guess apparently nobody was going to court. They just, if you had a court date, you just received a notice, and two weeks later you go to court. Yeah, they just flat out, they just weren’t doing court, period.
UCI: And has that affected you [unintelligible]?
Caller: Well, I mean it did—I got skipped at—there was a court hearing, and I got skipped for that too. I guess the whole thing kind of affects me— like I said, the thing that really got me, at least other counties when they have COVID and stuff as far as jails and stuff, there were lesser offenses or whatever, the guys will release them or something or just not accept them. This jail just keeps them coming. That was the most part that affected me.
But, yeah, I was affected by the court thing too. I didn’t get to go to court. I had a court date come up, and I had to wait until the following week or something. Then, especially, the unit I was on was a COVID- it wasn’t a COVID unit I forgot how to say, a quarantine unit.
So the guys, when they come down with it, we all get locked down and stuff. Like I said, they’ll bring us a Styrofoam tray. They started serving us sack lunches for dinner and some stuff. But, yeah, I got skipped for court too. Like I said, to me it’s the most frustrating-.
UCI: Was there a lot of people that tested positive?
Caller: Like I said, in our unit alone, it was throughout the jail. They had other units like shut down. They had it to where- move people even when we were clear because the other units were quarantined. So I know just on our unit alone, it was eight people in one week, and that unit only had like 20 people in it. So eight out of 20 people, 12 of us that didn’t get exposed. I don’t know how it happened because these units are really small. It’s grilles.
Everybody talks to everybody when they came out for dayroom and stuff. I don’t know how it was just the eight. That- there was times that we were just sitting there, sitting there, and sitting there. Like said, when we were clear, instead of us going to another unit, we couldn’t even go to the other units after we were done being processed because those units were quarantined. I don’t know exactly how many people.
I was kind of irritated because I wanted to see the news and stuff and know about the numbers, but the guards didn’t even watch news. The jail— they just played movies all day and stuff, turned off the cable and just played movies, so I don’t know how many people had it or not. It’s a really small area. Even if it’s a big number, it is probably not that big compared to the other areas. But I know 8 out of 20, that’s a good percentage.
UCI: Absolutely. What has the staff been doing to help [unintelligible]?
Caller: What has the what now?
UCI: What are the CO’s [unintelligible]?
Caller: The only thing they did, I mean, I think it’s the most irresponsible thing in the world. They have— this shows really, they have certain hours that they would turn the cable on during normal times. They started just playing movies all day, so we couldn’t watch any news. That was their way of well here we’ll just play movies all day long, you guys. They just played movies, DVDs all day long and turned off the cable. I was actually kind of frustrated, but that’s about all they did.
UCI: So there’s no cleaning extra going on?
Caller: That is actually what some of the guys really went off about. These guys here, this is a really small area. I found some other issues with them, and they seem like they are in a different world than the other part of the state. I’m from [redacted] originally myself, but this is a really small area, but that’s when some of the guys started going off. The guys started flooding their cells with their toilets, and they broke sprinklers and started banging.
Like some of the- all three of the COVID units. There are two— what do you call them? Quarantine units and then the COVID unit, they were going off. I know our unit was mad because they don’t- they weren’t cleaning. They came out there, they sprayed the common area with the bleach, like say the guys that came down with COVID, the same day that I seen those two guys move, like an hour later they bring in two new guys in there, and everybody is like, “Hey, you didn’t even clean in there.” You know and they didn’t care.
They are behind on stuff—really, really behind on stuff in these two areas. I’ve lived all over the state, and I’ve lived in small towns, but I’ve never—these two counties literally are interconnected. They share resources. So they don’t, you know, they’re not- the other county I was in for a violation and a false arrest on the other side of the river. The two counties are connected. The other side, they don’t even swab you when you come in the quarantine unit. So that’s what I’m saying.
They don’t even swab you. You just wait your 10 days and oh okay kick them out to a unit. They never want to swab you. They started over here—they were swabbing us a bunch. But that was about it. But, yeah, the guys, they had the complaint that they weren’t—they’ll spray the common areas, but they don’t spray the—they don’t clean the cells or anything.
UCI: Are they still COVID testing you all?
Caller: No. Not all of us, no. It’s just if people are being transferred to another facility or if they’re uh— yes, if they are being transferred to another facility or if they are in the quarantine unit.
UCI: [unintelligible] Well is there anything else you would like to let the public know?.
Caller: No, that’s about it.
UCI: Well we so appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
Caller: Okay. Thank you. You too.
UCI: Okay. Have a good night.
Caller: All right. Bye.