This letter was written by a person incarcerated at CMC (California Men’s Colony).
I am an inmate imprisoned at CMC (California Men’s Colony). I have been confined here since March 2018.
My personal experience from being in the California’s prison system during this very deadly COVID-19 pandemic, is like to being forced into a shower room at Auschwitz waiting for the gas to be pumped in.
CMC west facility is a level two, low level, custody prison facility that house inmates in dorms, allowing for a mere two feet of physical distancing from the two inmates sleeping in double bunks on either side of me.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave “Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities.” Under “Prevention practices for incarcerated/detained persons,” CDC guidelines recommend that when prisons house prisoners in dorms, “if space allows, reassign bunks to provide more space between individuals, ideally six feet or more in all directions.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) well knows that to prevent the spread of the virus, inmates must at a minimum be six feet apart from each other at all times. Yet, CDCR allows only a mere two feet physical distancing between inmates’ bunks within dorms where inmates are packed in like rats. This is why I feel like I am forced into a gas chamber nervously waiting on the poisonous gas to reach me.