This story was told by a person incarcerated at San Joaquin County Jail.
UCI: Hmm. How has the COVID-19 and the shutdown then affected your court dates?
Caller: Oh. Right when I got here, they just postponed my court date for backed up, backed up. I’d say it took about a good month and a half for me to actually even get into a courtroom. And there my family wasn’t able to see me neither.
I haven’t seen my mother in almost seven months, and she’s getting older. She just got out of the hospital for a scare of COVID. She didn’t have it, but you know what I’m saying? It’s just stressful. It’s been stressful.
UCI: Absolutely. And so, you said they re-started visitations. Tell me what that’s been like as they slowly opened it.
Caller: Oh. So, the anticipation was, the rumor was that, oh, in April, they’re going to open up visits. For some reason, I asked the correctional officers about it, and they say, “No, that’s not true. That’s not true.”
But, surely, it just seems like the inmates are more well-informed than the prisons, or excuse me, the jail staff, the sheriffs, because, sure enough, they opened up the visits. My girlfriend came to see me one time and was planning on bringing my mom and my family to come see me. And then as soon as they opened them up, they shut them down again. And now it’s ’til further notice again.
UCI: And this was back in April, right?
Caller: Yeah. They opened it up in April, and then they shut it down, May, the beginning of May again. It was just like a tease, in a sense. I got to see my girlfriend.
It’s crazy, how – I don’t know. Having a visit – I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to explain if you’ve never been here. But seeing somebody that you love and care for, you get this feeling in your heart, right? And your blood pressure and everything starts to raise. It’s anticipation of seeing them.
And to have that stripped from me once I just started seeing my girlfriend again was so deflating, like ugh! Just thinking about it is just deflating, I guess.