This letter was written by a person incarcerated at CMC (California Men’s Colony).
From the beginning of this pandemic, the staff here have been struggling to figure out exactly what to do. The dorms, which prior to the pandemic housed approximately 90 men max, have now been broken down to 65 men per dorm. The bunks were separated and spaced into pods of eight bunks each, which still doesn’t comply with the mandated six feet of social distancing requirement. Social distancing is virtually nonexistent here.
As for cleaning supplies and adequate protective equipment, we are certainly not receiving either as we should be, nor as they purport to the public, however we’ve managed to keep our dorms and living areas as clean as we possibly can using what meager cleaning supplies provided and from our canteen purchases.
One of the main things that have been exceptionally hard to cope with is our inability to visit with our families and loved ones. From a personal standpoint, I have lost several immediate family members during this crisis and not being able to see my loved ones for healing and comfort is such a heavy burden. I struggle daily and pray desperately for peace.
The fact that we’ve been given free phone calls twice a month definitely helps ease the pain of worry and fear, however it stops short of removing our fears of losing our loved ones due to this pandemic. Many of us are left to wonder if we’ll ever see our loved ones again, and if so, how much longer will it be before we’re allowed to do so? What will the criteria, etc. be? Must they show proof of vaccination?