This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Kern Valley.
I’ve been here at Kern Valley State Prison since May of 2016. This is a very corrupt and violent place. I have done time before. This place is not like any place I’ve ever been.
So needless to say, life was not so good. Then COVID hit. Things got so much worse.
At first we all thought it wasn’t going to be so bad. But on TV we all saw things getting worse. The number of infected and dead kept growing. We were locked down.
So the only way to communicate with our families was through snail mail. Everyone was freaked out because no one knew how our families were. Mail here takes weeks.
We all thought at least we were safe. We’re isolated and all cops and free staff were suppose to be getting screened. But that didn’t work. People here started getting sick.
The cops screwed up everything and spread COVID all over the prison. OK. Say you and your cellies both tested positive. They would move you both to a quarantine building, but then move two guys into the cell you just came from without decontaminating it.
So before we knew it a bunch of us had COVID. I was sick for three weeks. I still don’t feel normal.
This pandemic hit in 2019 and they’ve only in the last two months got their testing and vaccination schedule down. I’m still waiting on my second shot. They said it would be four to six weeks.
We’re off lock-down. Visits aren’t running yet. Most people have been in touch with their families.
It’s been bad. We lost some guys here. My buddy died.
I’ve seen guys crying in the dayroom after getting off the phone. A lot of people here lost family. As for me, I’m all alone.
No one writes. No one answers the phone. I don’t know if my family are alive or dead.
Being in prison already sucks, whether you deserve it or not. But, we’re still human beings, with feelings. Seeing all the death in the world from this horrible disease takes a toll on a person’s heart and mind. But for me, personally, being alone through this, not knowing how my family and friends are doing, the weight of it is crushing.