This letter was written by an individual incarcerated at Wasco.
First off I’d like to say thank you for taking your time out of the day to type a letter to me. I think it is a good thing you guys are doing with this “PrisonPandemic project.” Society probably doesn’t realize half the things a prisoner goes through in here, and now that the pandemic hit it kind of makes it a little harder to get through the time that some people have.
But as I write this I hope all is well with you and your loved ones mentally and physically. I’ll try to make this letter short and get right down to the point. Starting with answering a few of your questions.
So before the pandemic I was actually in Delano Reception Center when suddenly I was called “out to court” or (OTC) to a different county to deal with a case I had. In December 2019. By March 2020, I was finished and sentenced to go back to state prison, but the coronavirus was at its worst the week before and I got stuck.
They stopped all transfers and cancelled visitation. Honestly nobody thought nothing of it until they kept prolonging the lockdown and because really stressful and a lot of individuals were becoming agitated with the system because nothing was going right. COVID-19 broke out in institutions all over the United States and we were now receiving modified programs, to where you can only socialize with a few people or sometimes none at a time.
That honestly does a lot to a person’s mind because there’s already a lot of frustration built up, especially without the visitations from your family, wives, etc. Plus trying to stay as clean as possible and sometimes that doesn’t always work out because of the lockdown you’re on. I haven’t seen or touched my mother in a very long time and honestly couldn’t wait to get back to prison to be able to do that.
I was put in the county jail for three years. So being in prison some get the opportunity to be able to hug and show the affection the regular human being needs. Just recently they started transfers and I was sent back to prison.
But in reception. And it’s completely changed. Yeah the prison has worked with few prisoners to accommodate them with visits, canteen, and all the good stuff. Some are getting video visits with immediate family. But it doesn’t go for everybody. So that’s kind of stressful.
But people are coping with this in all types of ways. Right now I can only speak for myself the best skill that I use is working out. It relieves anger, frustration, depression, and it completely turns your mindset to something positive so that’s how I deal with it.
I honestly don’t feel like the building is clean at all we have non-alcoholic hand sanitizer sitting in a few places but who’s to say it works? I wash my hands all day, and prevent myself from touching any door handles, rails, basically anything that anybody’s hands can be on to not receive the virus.
I have not caught COVID-19 but I know people who have in the facility I’m at now. And it doesn’t sound like something you would be okay with getting.
But that’s all I got if there’s any questions or more things you would like for me to elaborate on, I’ll be more than happy to continue writing what’s needed. I appreciate you guys for letting our voices be heard. I respect this program and what you guys are standing for. Thank you once again.