This story was told by a person incarcerated at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility.
UCI: And then so tell me about your experience with COVID-19.
Caller: So, I started out in Los Angeles County last year when the pandemic hit. I actually went to a neurosis, my neuropsychosis got out of sync. I couldn’t find a place to live, I lost my place during COVID and I was staying at, like, these hotels waiting on a voucher. I couldn’t get a voucher, so one thing led to another.
I got locked up, I got locked up in Los Angeles. There was no visitation. It was difficult.
They quarantined half of LA, and I got transferred out here because I had a case pending out here as well so, there was, they were doing no transfers. They were doing no courts, we were just going to court. It was like one person at a time, you know. Inside the courtroom, you had to wear masks.
They gave us these COVID tests where they swab, they swab your nose and try to put it in and up. There was no visitation.
Caller: Yeah, so, stress of, so when the, I was in LA from July last year all the way to January of this year.
UCI: Oh, OK.
Caller: So, it was difficult because commissary, you couldn’t order nothing on the commissary, which is really important ‘cause the food was really cold. They was having nobody come in. There was no, like I said, there was no visitation from outside people, so the food was just terrible. We had to stay in cells, we were locked in cells 24/7. There was no rec, no recreation, no nothing.
I actually had a transfer pending to here but they couldn’t transfer me because other counties were not accepting bodies at the time, during COVID. So, we did get free phone calls in Los Angeles. They were doing 15-minute phone calls once a week, I think it was Wednesday. And now, here, they’re doing five-minute phone calls.
When I finally got transferred to Banning, then to California from Los Angeles County to Riverside County, Banning is in Riverside County. So, when I got out here, the same thing, they swabbed me and everything.