This story was told by a person incarcerated at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility.
UCI: Okay, thank you. And what has the COVID situation been like at your facility?
Caller: At the facility, they, I mean, actually I’ve just recently been here. But, the facility, every day they come through with the vaccine. They try to vaccinate once a week, I guess, make sure everybody vaccinated. But, and clean because you’ve got people sleeping on the floor.
You know, it’s like they holding us up [unintelligible]. Ain’t nobody making it within 24 hours. You can be down there 72 hours, you’re on the ground, you’re sleeping on the ground because they got all these people coming in here and they’ve got no space, basically, for the housing, you know what I’m saying.
Out of the three jails they got here in Riverside County, only two of them is really up and running to where they can take people in. And they constantly going downtown and getting brought to these facilities. But, it’s not – and we don’t really have any people in here that didn’t get affected by it. Like, half of the inmates that’d been in the streets, you know, they’re under the influence, all the drugs and stuff, so they really don’t have no – they haven’t caught the virus.
They don’t know what the virus is like. Me, myself, I come from CDCR where the whole prison in Wasco had it, you know what I mean.
The whole prison, everybody had it and there wasn’t nothing they could do about it but let it play out. You know, they kept telling us we had colds, you know what I mean. And everybody, we had colds until the whole prison happened and then we find out the COVID virus that’s being passed out and then our staff that started leaving. And, you know, I got out right around the beginning of COVID.
And God blessed me and took that off my sentencing and let me out. This law that came in effect and they let me out and I got home. So, epidemic, I didn’t know nothing about it, I didn’t know what to do about it, you know.
My wife with her parents. You know, I couldn’t go here because her parents are 89 and 94 years old and, you know, they said I could have contacted it from anywhere. And I just know we just had it in that prison, I wasn’t going there to live. So, I was trying to, you know, get my wife to come out with me somewhere and get into a stable living environment.
Didn’t happen. You know, see my parole agent, made it short, and I didn’t get that happen. Didn’t make the – she wasn’t going to let that happen. Made sure that didn’t happen. I mean, she got [unintelligible] I was in, so I end up back in the streets.
So, like I said, [unintelligible], you know what I mean. I been running around here homeless in the streets living with all the homeless individuals that’s come across it and watching people die, you know what I’m saying. Not just from the pandemic we got going on, they got the [unintelligible] pandemic going on around here, too. So, you [unintelligible] find somebody dead from that.
So, nobody worried about the coronavirus though. We all wore our masks and we all are doing it. Even right now they got us here on restriction still with the mask. We got to carry our mask and keep our six feet distance from each individual.
They’re not spraying the phones, like, every time somebody use it. We do have the stuff right here to do it ourselves, so we got to really, like, you know, monitor our own health and keep it clean for ourselves, watch out for ourselves on that note. But, they let us out. They still, we still getting, I’d say, about 20 hours in the cell a day, you know what I mean.
But, they’re letting us out enough to get on the phone and call our loved ones and that. I don’t think there’s every been anybody really right here in the Smith Facility that’s been diagnosed with the virus, but anybody that comes to jail, they make sure they send you to the hospital if you even have any kind of signs, you know what I’m saying.
They don’t get in. You got 14 days to come into the jail. So, it’s not going on here. Everybody in here has not been sick, you know what I’m saying. Those that are leaving from here, they’re being able to go home.
They’re not stopped from going home. But, you go to prison you’re going to be waiting 28 days for it, you know what I’m saying, if you don’t take your vaccination. You’re not going to make it to the [unintelligible] for 28 days. You’re going to be stuck somewhere for 28 days until you get vaccinated.
That’s about all that’s going on right here. Everybody [unintelligible]. Waiting to go to pen, some is waiting to go to trial and go home.
Me, myself, waiting to go to trial and go home. I got an old case, you know. But, I got released from prison to a hole. So, I came to this county jail it was bad for the epidemic. So, they wouldn’t let nobody come from CDC.
You couldn’t come into the county jail, and if you came from the streets they would allow you to come in. So, I came with a hole down here to this county jail and they flighted me right out. I’m still fighting that case. You know what I mean.
And it’s like I never had no drugs in my possession, it’s my medication they took me for, you know. They really trying to try me for this medication.
Everybody knows medication – you know, officers know it. But anyway, there they go. I got to get off the phone right now. I’ll try to be back to you all either tomorrow or the next time I can talk to say my story. But, God bless you guys and I hope y’all keep doing good on this epidemic. I appreciate y’all reaching out to me.
UCI: Yes, thank you so much for calling. And I hope to hear from you soon.
Caller: Yes, God bless you guys. Y’all in prayer.
UCI: Yes, you as well. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.