First-wave lockdown

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Soledad.

We were first wave lockdown. The last week of March, however, I worked in PIA. We continue to go to work.

And in 2020, CTF was tasked with producing cloth barrier face masks, for use by CDCR staff and inmates as well as other California state agencies in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In April 2020, CTF began working 14 hours a day, seven days a week. In a meeting we were told it is mandatory. We were paid overtime. I made about $300. I’m a bed maker. I make ¢.80 a hour.

In about August, we were placed in quarantine. For testing, I believe they had two false positive in G- Wing. Anyway, we kept having false positives. We ended up doing about 43 days of quarantine. I wrote to correctional officers; however, they never responded to them. We went back to work the first week of October around that time.

Around November we were quarantined again. This time it blew up. November tests came back 87 inmates. That when CTF said to test again in mid-November twice. That day, and all positive would stay in G- wing, all negatives would be moved to the positive gym or negative B-wing, which was on quarantine already, or negative C-wing, all positive to lockup. They were also using both chapels.

They have shut down the gym, and both chapels, the visiting room. They are making tents on the yard. Around the beginning of November, we were supposed to be on a 14-day quarantine. However, they were moving and testing inmates everyday. All they stopped was showers, yard, canteen, and phone calls.

I went 12 days without a shower. I have been in and out of California prisons since 1986, but this is the worse treatment of humans I have ever seen or been put up on me. We were supposed to be on lockdown, but CTF was allowing the transfer of inmates from prisons every week. I would see the buses coming from work. We knew COVID-19 was here. Buses coming almost everyday. We were supposed to be on lockdown.

At the end of March, we had no cases until I believe the end of July or August. I can’t remember. This I can tell you. It came from other prisons. CTF had no cases until the transfer started. I worked everyday for the month of April, no case, from there to August, no cases.