Stuck in dayroom

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Donovan.

Caller: Well, here, at R. J. Donovan, I’m in a facility – it’s a little different over here. I’m in an open dayroom with six-man cells. And we we’re allowed to come out to the dayroom.

However, we’re not really allowed to go out to the yard. Occasionally, they allow us. But, and then, again, it all depends on what’s going on in California regarding the tier system. Right? As of right now, we’re on the purple tier. So, now, we’re also restricted from going outside and getting any type of physical activity. And we need that, you know, to relieve some of the stress that we’re going through.

So, now, instead of me being out and doing positive things, now, I’m like stuck in the dayroom all day with other individuals – some of them that don’t even care about their rehabilitation. You know? So it’s been quite challenging to adjust. We need programs.

UCI: Are you – is your facility kind of just putting everyone in the dayroom altogether, regardless of capacity, and that’s kind of replacing the exercise?

Would you think that’s kind of what they’re trying to do?

Caller: Well, there’s a lot going on in the dayroom. We have six-man cells. And we come out to the dayroom so there’s barely enough room for us to do what we want to do. For example, right now, I’m taking correspondence college courses.

It’s kind of hard to concentrate with all the noise around me – people screaming across the tier – that I’ve actually done a lot worse on my college essays this semester because of that reason. I just – I’m at like a 45% capacity when it comes to concentration – that I receive some of my essays back – I’m like, “Oh, my God. I can’t believe I wrote this.” It’s just I’m not used to writing in that level. I know I’m capable of doing more. But it’s very, very difficult in this environment.

We’re like hamsters. Right? Like in a hamster tank. Right? And there are some people that actually clean and some people that don’t clean. The people that are supposed to be cleaning are not cleaning. Other people voluntarily clean. It’s just very, very, very bad. I’ve really taken it hard.