This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Tehachapi.
Hello UC Irvine,
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to write. And to the team making this happen, I wish you all the best. Correct, you do not know me personally, so I will relate to you a little bit about me. And, you are right, I can get through this.
Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes in my life that eventually led me to be behind bars and in prison. I come from the city of Baldwin Park and in Los Angeles County, and my affiliation with the local neighborhood caused me to commit a crime. I have been incarcerated since January 2014 in the Los Angeles County jail.
As of November 2019, I have been in CDCR. It also happened to be the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was scared for myself and my family. At first, it seemed so real, like it can’t be true. But then it hit home. My daughter’s mother got the virus and it became a factor. I would watch the news. I knew 1000s of people were getting it and 100s were dying of it so I felt hopeless and trapped.
The CDCR has cancelled visits so I have not seen my family and it is not healthy. We need that support from our loved ones.
I am currently in CCI in Tehachapi, CA. And lots of inmates have caught the virus. The prison staff try and isolate the infected inmates and remove them from the population. I still feel vulnerable and helpless.
All it takes is one breath of air to get infected and that is a frightening thought. It has been a hard year due to this pandemic and lots of changes has been made. I know it’s for our safety, but mentally it’s been rough. My life is at stake and that is scary.
But I continue day by day. I keep my daily routine. I practice yoga. I read and write every day. I will not give up on myself and I will not put others in jeopardy if I ever do get sick. Thank God I have been healthy and my family at home is too. So all in all it is a mess and lots of people are frightened, but we have no choice but to deal with it.
Well UC Irvine student and team, I hope my story can help in any way. Thank you for showing interest in me and making this possible. Stay safe, stay positive and healthy. God bless you and everyone involved.