Sitting ducks

This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Mule Creek.

Staff don’t wear masks. At least not in the buildings with us. We don’t get our 15-minute phone calls and a five-minute shower. The cops tell us we have 10 minutes, split up your time to do what you need and take it home. And they only allow three cells out at a time. So two phones are unused, they don’t let no one else out until the first three cells lock it up.

If the first three cells take too much time because we are entitled to it, the cops announce their names on the PA system so there will be in-house retribution, and the cops sit back and laugh at the men arguing and threatening each other.

Whenever there’s a false positive, we all go on lockdown, and for over a month just as we are ready to be lifted, there’s always one false positive every two weeks and our two weeks of quarantine starts over. And as soon as the false positive is realized, you think we’d be lifted right? Wrong!

Still quarantine and the correctional officers and nurses laugh about it when we ask questions. They pass the buck and tell us to ask our captain and warden why they’re doing all of this to them.

Our test results are all back-dated to cover their asses since they once tested one time every three months. Now we’re being tested every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Temperature checks at 9 o’clock in the morning and again at about 3ish to 5 p.m.

We’ve not seen our family in a year now. These video visits? My parents have not been able to get hold of anyone since it was started. They either can’t log on, it freezes, or don’t get a reply to get an appointment. And they’ve lost their jobs due to the pandemic. They can’t support me like I was used to.

I have over $17,000 in restitution, and the state takes 55% of it. I get $45 out of a hundred dollar bill. That’s another highway robbery and double punishment while in prison. I need help with that restitution, please, how can I live in here if make pennies on the dollar and only get .45¢ of ever dollar I earn?

The prices for food and haggling in here is so outrageous especially during this pandemic. I’m on quarantine. It’s not my fault I can’t go to work and clock in to PIA to get paid. We should get paid regardless! They make $40,000 to $80,000 a day and pay guys from .35¢ to $1.00 an hour, but won’t allow us to collect taxes because they collect the taxes on it for themselves.

They will fire us and does not afford us the information how to collect taxes with the words: If you want the info, you will no longer work for PIA. So in other words, if we file for taxes, we get fired. That’s illegal to threaten us but again, we can’t afford to lose the little that we do get.

The prisons do not stop the staff from traveling before coming back to work. So they may have it while taking a test to get in, but it’s a day or two later they get the results and too late for some because contact has spread, COVID-19, and unfortunately too late to say who all tripled the contact. We are sitting ducks in here and the medical already has less than average care, cure habits, and work ethics.