This letter was written by a person incarcerated at High Desert.
Dear PrisonPandemic team,
Hello, how are you doing? Well I hope this message reaches you while you are in good spirits. Well I received this letter from the PrisonPandemic project about a week ago. It was addressed but at the end of the letter, it was closed by best wishes.
So yes I was kinda confused by that, however I’ve gotten letters from outside groups before. As when I’ve responded to such groups, I never ever got another letter again! So I wonder is you guys like that as well?
Yes, it is very difficult times in all of our lives right now, of course due to the COVID-19 pandemic! Yes, everyone has their own way with dealing with this. You stated you know I have what it takes to deal with this!
Thank you for saying that, but how do you really know? Because it is very hard to stay sane and deal with everything that goes on period!
You say it’s people out there thinking about me, and the rest of the folks that’s here! And I’m gone be the first to say thank you, because most of us here believe no one cares at all! This challenge is a fight we never saw coming at all!
You state you is a part of a team collecting stories about what has been happening inside facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Well I was supposed to get transferred to another prison, because I have medical transfer, because I don’t supposed to be in this high altitude! But before I could get the transfer, the COVID-19, hit and shut a lot of transfers down.
At High Desert State Prison, we was one of the last prison locations to get COVID-19! See the cases was very low, but when the prison system decided to transfer inmates from San Quentin State Prison, to High Desert State Prison, it the COVID-19 super super spreaded.
For a while the inmates here at High Desert State Prison, have been getting mistreated. The food they was serving us as meals was never cooked. The portions that give us on the food trays is not enough to feed a child, let alone grown men and women in the California prison systems.
We have a store here on the prison grounds that they, tae prison, call commissary. We are allowed to go to commissary once a month. All inmates are allowed to go to commissary, but for some strange reason, a lot of inmates have been denied to go to commissary for two months now. And the staff here don’t care about that at all.
As far as being moved and moved out our cells for nothing! A lot of inmates done caught the virus, all in one location. But instead of moving inmates in a clean cell, they just move you in a cell. That they don’t clean, which they supposed too, but don’t!
Tell you, you’re moving at 4:30 am, and if you don’t move, you’re going to receive some type of discipline!
Safety inside? We feel that the staff is responsible for safety measures! Free staff cooks, COs not wearing masks, breathing on our food, transferring COVID-19 on our food trays! Not properly cleaning food trays, food carts, the building, period! Even when they was instructed to!
Not having visits for almost one year and a half, it’s been hard. We sone lost a lot of family members due to the COVID-19 virus. We was at one point allowed to make free phone calls a lot of days out the week. That was helping a great deal.
But as you know it’s about the money and not about us being able to reach our families, our loved ones. So now we get free phone calls twice a month, instead of a few times out of the week.
To deal with this High Desert State Prison madness, they call this place high drama. We really need the help of you guys to make a reform at this place. A goal that we could all reach.
This is just a brief note, hope someone from your organization writes me back. As we continue to push through this pandemic journey, I wish you all well.