This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Lancaster.
To: PrisonPandemic Project
This is how things are going in Lancaster, A Facility. Although there has not been a massive outbreak here, I have been noticing that the conditions are substandard.
We are not given disinfectant that kills coronavirus – or anything else on a regular basis. We should be given Pinesol, which has been proven to kill coronavirus on a weekly basis- and each cell should get either Lysol or an effective hand sanitizer.
In the building, we have one bottle of hand sanitizer on the podium for the entire building.
We should be given be given antibacterial or antiviral hand soap, not bar soap. Bar soap that is made by PIA clogs the sinks and that leaves stagnant water in our sinks. Dove hand soap does go down the drain, but they stopped giving that to us.
The system is not releasing the prisoners who have been in prison for a long time. There is no remedy for them- they have to stay in prison until they die! Many have requested that they be considered for release due to corona risks. The system makes excuses to not do so or passes the buck or flat out denies them.
There are a lot of people in CA prisons with life sentences that are either innocent or have been overcharged due to the program of mass incarceration and the system does absolutely nothing about it. They in fact make sure that these people stay in prison until they turn to dust. The system is not even considering compensation for those who have either been wrongfully convicted, overcharged, who have excellent prison records and are first timers with LWOP. They do nothing except make sure everyone stays in prison. Especially the innocent- because the program of mass incarceration has to do with making money off of warehousing people.
They know the innocent will never come back to prison, so they can’t make money off of the innocent, so they’ll never let them go free. They have no problem freeing career criminals. This agenda puts the general public in danger in California. The safest people to release are the innocent- especially those who are in prison for the first time- because they are not criminals!
I have LWOP, but yet in 2011, all witnesses recanted and said I am totally innocent, the key witness apologized to me and my family for destroying my life for all those years. But the courts still can’t grant habeas, give me a new trial- or even reduce my sentence. DNA evidence came up negative. The murder went to court, testified, which revealed that she instigated the murder and protected her boyfriend who did the murder by threatening the key witness, that she should keep her mouth shut. And the rich loaded the other way and then reaffirmed the condemnation of my life to never ever be released.
I have an excellent record in prison, I have COs recommending I be granted clemency, that I am not a threat to the public and my continued incarceration is not in interests of justice. But- nothing.
I mentioned I am also suffering from the aftereffects of traumatic brain injury and I cannot afford to get COVID because COVID causes brain swelling and when I had my injury, my brain swelled and I had a blood vessel burst and intracranial bleeding- I almost died. I asked for the system to at least consider commutation- at the very least, medical told me to go to custody- custody told me to file with medical. And then the vicious cycle continues forever.
I was an average Joe citizen when I was free. The complaints about the corruption in the system are not exaggerated, nor are they the false ranting of criminals whining. The corruption is real. I used to work for a living. I had no idea the judicial system was this bad until I lived in it.
Yes, even in a world-wide pandemic, the prison and judicial system will not do the right thing- try to reduce the prison population by letting go of the people who don’t belong there.
Instead, they release short-termers who are going to go home anyway. They just kick them out several months before their release, and crime does not stop. The prisons fill back up. The people who never go home are lifers.
Also, the only way to ensure that people in prison will not get the virus is if the CDCR mandated that everyone be single-celled. Otherwise, this will go on forever. They’ll have to change the Title 15 in an emergency rule change to mandate single cells for everyone- and they’ll have to drastically reduce the prison population.