This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Soledad.
No, I don’t feel safe simply because of how officials and medical staff have responded to and are treating this COVID-19 epidemic. In the beginning most staff were treating us prisoners like we were the ones who could infect them. When in all reality if COVID-19 entered the prison system it would be from an officer, free staff and/or medical staff being infected and spreading it to the prison population. And this was the case at CTF Central.
I have refused yard and I refuse to use the phone simply because the COVID-19 positive prisoners are using the same phones as us, who are not infected. Yes, all the phones and sitting areas are sprayed with some type of disinfected, but there are 17 phones on the yard and they should have taped off five phones for those who are COVID-19 positive only. And this is my point of prison officials not taking this seriously.
Right now there is no work, education, vocation, meeting groups, or programs. But if and when they do call us to go to work I will refuse if this epidemic is not under control and taken seriously. I am a programmer. I love to work.
I’m a lifer and in my 28 years of incarceration I can count on my hands how many days of work I was forced to miss due to being sick. And my only one disciplinary report was about 18 years ago and for me to refuse work would tarnish any positive program. But that’s how seriously I’m taking this when prison officials are not.”