This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Chino.
December 23, 2020
To whom this may concern,
Praise and blessings to your organization for taking the time out of your busy lives to write and illuminate these dark cell walls. Like you’ve stated in your cover letter, these indeed are difficult times for us all. As to my experience…
I received a visit March 2020, from my little sister that I haven’t seen in 13 years. Needless to say, it was an emotional day. Who could have known that would be my last visit from her (due to COVID-19). That following week the world seems like it shut down.
But before I get to rambling, let me share my current conditions. I am in an isolated cell by myself. My work supervisor tested positive for COVID, so to be safe I’ve been quarantined for 21 days. I’ve had four negative tests so far. I have no power outlets in my cell for TV or any other devices.
The vent blows extremely cold air making it almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Showers are Monday-Wednesday-Friday, for five minutes and the water is ice cold! I repeat, ice cold. I‘m in my cell 24 hours a day. So basically I’m in “ad seg” or most commonly known as the “hole”.
We get one phone call a week for 15 minutes. No visits. To say the least, things got really depressing after a while. I don’t feel safe in here at all. The lock downs are affecting everyone, guards come to work mad, frustrated and take it out on us! Just a few weeks ago I had a guard call me a “fucking nigger.” Till this day I have no idea why.
I wrote a grievance, so I’ll see what becomes of it. They (the guards) go home, party, come back to work and spread COVID through the prison system. Inmates don’t get to leave (except to the hospital or court). And if they do leave, when they come back, they get isolated for up to 21 days.
My loved ones not being able to see me has been hard on them. Not being able to see my face, hold my hands, and know that I’m safe is terrifying to them. I’ve been doing my best to keep my spirits up, staying positive and productive the best I’ve been able to.
Lately I’ve been drawing and trying to come up with new designs for my clothing line. Doing as much reading I can about non-profits and tax exempt churches (that’s what I plan to do) trying to figure out how to write a grant (format, template, etc.). Anything I can do not think about the situation that I’m in.
I’ve been in prison going on 14 years, and I’ve never seen or experienced anything like this. The guards and the prison can do whatever they want to us right now under the guise of “COVID-19.” I have sleep apnea (severe obstructive sleep apnea) and they took away my C-pap machine “because of COVID” even though at the time I was in an isolated cell by myself!
But all they had to say was, “It’s being done for the safety and security of the institution due to COVID.” SMH at this point. All I can do, I hope and pray that the courts remove my entanglements and they let me get out of here! It’s beyond fear.
Thank you once again for reaching out. If you guys wish for me to get more in depth or have any further questions, feel free to ask I’m just a letter away.