This letter was written by a person incarcerated at CMC (California Men’s Colony).
I have endured everything that you could ever imagine in prison, nothing sexual, nothing weird like that. I am talking about the oppression. Prison is a place of oppression. So even before the pandemic I was being oppressed. That’s just the way it is, but I put myself here and so I have adapted to deal with that kind of stuff. I am a health man.
I am an inmate firefighter. I hike tall mountains, walk miles and miles with a fifty pound backpack on my back. I ran five miles everyday, do 1,000 pushups, and weight lift. So when the virus entered my body, my body was already ready to defeat it. So I won on that part, so far, so good.
Mentally, I had that covered too because I am trained to go through battles in this world. I have always been a strong individual. Being in prison now is harder than ever. Visitation is over. That’s tough, tough as steel. There are so many men who look forward to those weekend visits, and for them to just be taken away is very tough on the human mind.
I personally don’t have anyone to come and visit me. I don’t have a girlfriend. My family is up in age and they don’t drive long distances anymore, but I have learned to deal with that over the years. I am not going to lie, once I received your letter I was very happy to see a female name on the letter. I thought that I had finally got someone to write me.
Visits and mail are the two things you can allow prisoners to have. Now one of those is gone. Now you have to deal with communication in another way and that’s the prison phones. People don’t like writing anymore because the technology is so advanced now.
People don’t write. And a woman is not especially going to write. It takes a special woman to even sit down and entertain her thoughts and what she is feeling, put all that down on a piece of paper, and lick the envelope and send it. I don’t have those types of privileges. It makes me feel really good that someone believes in me, that has never met me.
And I am going to end this letter by saying this letter from UCI PrisonPandemic helped me cope. That’s how we cope by getting mail from people who haven’t forgotten the forgotten. If I could get another letter from you, that would be all the energy I need to get through the crisis. We just want to hear that people like you care.
You could never understand what I am going through because you would have to be living it to understand. Just know this living with COVID-19 in prison is like being punished twice. You are already incarcerated, and now you are living with a virus. It can mess with your psyche a little.