This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Soledad.
How do I feel about my safety inside? I am only in control of myself, my own thoughts and actions, my responses don’t go too far. Administration refuses to hear out prisoners and their ideas for what we consider improvements of their shortcomings. Soledad prison is full of life or such as myself who have been incarcerated for 26 years and counting, the majority of us have extreme insight on what prisons are capable of doing and not doing.
Prison officials take their orders from people who have not been in the trenches with us yet decide what will work and what will not work. This method of “long-distance supervision” shows they are too busy to come and hear and see for themselves.
An example, everyone is gone for the holidays but the problem still exists. As they drag their feet we’re still denied canteen and quarterly packages and the prisons feed us and amount fit for a five year old. Health is critical for everyone including prisoners who cannot simply go buy fresh fruit or vegetables when they like to. So this has a lot to do with health and safety in which prisoners that are being treated as less than should at least be fed enough or allowed to purchase their own food for those who can afford to do so.
The prison could have given all prisoners non-alcohol hand sanitizer for their own personal usage and never did so, but the prison employees had their own. If it’s not done in the time of a crisis, then what is their purposeful behaviors on a deeper thought?
As they turn their backs and walk away and go home day after day we’re still hoping for a better day. We’re stuck in a cell 24 hours a day, we might get a shower once a week or yard time for a hour every 21-days apart according to the Mitchel Law. So the way I feel about my safety is a mixed bag of emotions seeing the failures of CDCR. I don’t let it consume my mind because I’m in control of my thoughts and I know how to keep myself safe.
Some prisoners might not be able to do so such as elders, those who have mental health issues, people who are still in addiction and making their own alcohol to escape their anxiety or fears.
No one from the mental health even comes to ask their patients how they’re doing. Those type of prisoners might not even realize the severity or impact of what’s taking place due to the medication they’re being given, these prisoners might not be able to articulate their stories yet still need a voice. How I feel about my safety is a pretty wide view because it’s unraveled from the top to the bottom and that’s where prisoners are at.