Can’t help family

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Soledad.

This is a letter from Soledad prison. It was postmarked on October 26, 2020.

Society’s difficulties and our reality – it has been horrible to be in prison during this pandemic. It’s bad enough to be out of the reach of your loved ones, but it’s nothing nice when they are dealing with a treacherous virus, a broken economy, and systemic racism, and there is absolutely nothing that you can do to help them. As for the convicts and inmates, we are dealing with a major problem that surely won’t be over no time soon.

Most people already had it rough getting any kind of moral or financial support from family, friends, or associates. Now, it’s 10 times worse because they have to focus on having somewhere to live, pray that they remain healthy and safe while nurturing their children and making sure they are safe, and doing their best to keep their jobs or businesses open for the fortunate entrepreneurs.

To top all of that off, even when they do come up with some extra money to hit you up with a gift, the restitution system, our department, don’t respect it as a gift, so they still take their 55% off the top out of your money, which I feel is so wrong and disrespectful to people’s families. Without the pandemic, my safety is in jeopardy. With the pandemic, it’s worse because all it takes is one false decision or move, and that will surely cost someone their life, which administration and staff would be reliable for and definitely should be held accountable for making that choice.

It’s very bad to not have that time to share with your loved ones or family members. First of all, that’s the only time that you get to escape from the darkness of prison. Then you must take in consideration that some people live so far that they’re only able to see you once a year, but the visit is so meaningful and remarkable that the one visit is just enough. It’s truly the only personal time that you have to spend with someone who you care about or love.

My liberty is a top priority. I make sure to check on my family every three days when we get phone calls and showers for an hour. I maintain balance by exercising, writing, poetry, reading, and staying healthy, strong, and safe. Thank you for your time and consideration.