This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Vacaville.
Since the pandemic has begun here at CMF the inmates has been getting cell fed. I am one of three people that brings food carts to this end of the prison, in all it’s about ten food carts. Don’t mind the work, do mind the nine dollars a month I get for doing the work, can anyone say “Labor Law Violations.”
The reason I bring this up is because I see first hand, that because the food is so bad no one wants to eat it, and those that do, has very little choice. We are throwing so much food away it’s crazy. This is for a number of reasons though, really only two, the way it’s cooked and the fact they are forcing inmate to eat basically the same food day in and day out.
For a while I worked in the main kitchen here, as well as at other prisons and the one word or term I could use to describe the conditions in these kitchens would be “filthy.” Yes inmate clean as much as possible after cooking the meals, but staff has never given us the time actually needed to do it properly. I even wrote an appeal a couple years ago, requesting for an overnight cleaning crew be put in place.
It was denied, citing a lack of funds and staffing. There’s mold, bugs, rats and Lord know what else in this kitchens, the machines use to wash the trays are barely functional. All in all, the conditions in this kitchen alone would get any restaurant shut down by any health inspector on the streets.
If one were to look closely you would see just about everything here is about money. We’re getting the cheapen end of everything, food, cleaning, supplies, clothes, canteen, everything. Again, I get like nine dollars each month. The problem is, the canteen and the package companies we’re forced to use to continue to raise prices just about every time we look up, but each time I ask for a bump in pay, I’m either laughed at or told “I’ll see what I can do.”
Criminal justice reform: Propositions 36, 47, and 57 were supposed to reduce California’s prison population and there are more laws coming that is further to reduce the population. Maybe this is why within the last years custody staff here are writing inmates up for just about any and everything you can think of.
Example: Both inmates and staff were told to write each other up if you’re caught not wearing your face covering, good ideal I suppose. One might guess what happens next, inmates are being found guilty for not obeying, while staff members are saying it’s not true that they were not wearing their mask, and the appeal inmates are writing are denied outright for a lack of evidence.