Prison COVID-19: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR PRISONERS Vol 1, Number 10
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COVID-19 COVID 19 IInformation f ti ffor P Prisoners i and d Staﬀ St ﬀ Volume V l Volume 1 Number 1, N b 10, 10 December D b 2020 2020 COVID-19: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR PRISONERS Tips on how to protect yourself from the virus within the limits of prison or jail C OVID-19 has spread throughout the world with deadly impact. In the U.S., many communities are scrambling to treat the sick with limited resources, the streets are empty, and people are trying to stay healthy under challenging circumstances. The most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of smell and body aches. More severe symptoms include high fever, severe cough, shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, sudden confusion and bluish lips or face. People infected with the virus may not show symptoms for two to 14 days after exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and other reputable public health organizations have issued safety practices to help CONTENTS Survival Guide for Prisoners ....1 Virus Updates ..........................4 Letters ......................................6 Outbreak at Corcoran ..............7 I"m Gonna Die in Here .............8 Ed's Comments........................8 Decarcerate Now .....................9 people avoid infection that you’ve probably heard about by now: • Wash your hands with soap frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time. • Cough and sneeze into your elbow. • Regularly clean surfaces that multiple people touch daily. • Practice “social distancing,” which means staying 6 feet away from other people as much as you can. • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth—all parts of your face where COVID-19 can enter your body. Incarcerated people would be best served to use the same prevention practices, but the actual nature of prisons and jails, combined with restrictions on supplies can make it more diﬃcult to ward oﬀ the virus. That’s why w News Inside teamed up with Brie Williams, M.D, M.S., and Leah Rorvig, M.D., l M.S., medical experts from the University M of o California, San Francisco, who specialize i in criminal justice. Williams also runs a prison reform program called Amend at UCSF. Here, we answer your coronavirus U questions while being considerate of your q unique circumstances. u Should I be scared about getting S released? r Medical Advice: Most places outside of prison have a lower risk of infection than p any type of group-living situation. This a is i because it is easier to stay 6 feet away from people you don’t live with when you are out in the community. Also, it might be easier to get cleaning products and to stay away from others who are sick. Prison/Jail Adaptation: This is a scary time, but you’ve improvised while incarcerated. In the free world, you will have more space and access to safety and cleaning equipment. I’ve heard that handwashing is the best defense against getting and spreading the virus. How do I keep my hands clean if hot water is unavailable or inconsistent in my cell or dorm area? And It Grows The relentlessly rising toll of COVID-19 inside. The number of new cases of coronavirus among state and federal prisoners rose dramatically this week. More than 8,300 people were reported to have tested positive—the second-highest number since the pandemic began in the spring—as outbreaks emerged in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, New York and other states. And prison workers are being hit badly, too. More than 2,200 prison staﬀ tested positive, the highest number of new cases on record. The Associated Press Medical Advice: While hot water is better than cold for hand washing, your technique matters most: Wet your hands all the way up to and a little past your wrists. Rub soap on the front and backs of your hands and wrists, and scrub for 20 seconds. If you have access to clean paper towels, use one to turn oﬀ the faucet and throw it out immediately. If soap and water aren’t available but hand sanitizer is, it has to be at least 60 percent alcohol to work. Use the same technique: Cover the fronts and backs of your hands and wrists with sanitizer and rub them together for 20 seconds. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Fill bottles in the shower speciﬁcally for handwashing. Heat your water using a hot pot, stinger, slop sinks or a bowl you place on the radiator. Insulate buckets of warm water with blankets and towels for longer-lasting use. Try to wash or sanitize your hands every time you leave and return to your cell. How can I shower safely in a communal setting? Medical Advice: Try to stay 6 feet away from other people, and be sure your hands are clean before touching your face. Prison/Jail Adaptation: If it’s possible, remain 6 feet apart in the shower. Skipping showers isn’t ideal, but if you live in a cell, wash up in your sink using soap, water and a rag. Is it safe to sit on a toilet that 200 people in my dorm share? Medical Advice: Getting COVID-19 from sitting on a toilet seat is unlikely. However, the toilet handle, stall divider and sink faucets could be dirty. Be sure to wash your hands before and after using the bathroom. The toilet handle, faucets and other frequently touched items such as the door should be disinfected at least daily. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Before and after toilet use, clean the seat and ﬂush handle with bleach diluted with water if it’s available. If you don’t have bleach, do the same with a rag lathered up with soap. When possible, place a clean towel on the seat. Wash and dry the towel after use. Place it directly in front of a fan—if you have access—to speed up the drying process. How do I protect myself from COVID-19 when I am outside of my cell or oﬀ my bunk? Do I need a mask? Medical Advice: Wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, try to avoid crowded spaces and stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times. If there are some people you can’t distance yourself from, try to keep this group as small as possible. Some research suggests that a mask you make out of two layers of cotton cloth (from, say, a sheet) can reduce the risk of you and others spreading COVID-19 to each other. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Against the rules, but it might be worth asking the COs on your tier/unit to make an exception: Before leaving your cell or bunk, protect your eyes with shades or glasses. Cover up your nose and mouth with a clean—cotton if available—T-shirt, do-rag, scarf or knit hat with the top seams torn open. Women can repurpose head scarves and bras into masks. If your prison industries program is making masks and other protective gear, consider signing up for it. Can I get COVID-19 from an object someone has sneezed or coughed on? Medical Advice: It is possible to get the virus by handling an item that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Don’t touch your face. As often as you can, wear disposable gloves over your washed hands and remove them after you touch surfaces. If you lack disposables, wear your exercise or winter gloves over clean hands. After you remove your gloves, wash and dry them. Speed-dry gloves by placing them directly in front of a fan, if you have access. Remember to wash your hands whenever you touch things from a common area. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Wear disposable gloves while handling your items. If you don’t have any, use your exercise or winter gloves. Throw away any cardboard boxes and plastic packaging before you enter your cell or bunk area. Store exposed food in small garbage bags. Wash and air dry the net bags you use to carry the items you bought after you unpack them. And wash and dry your gloves and hands before relaxing on your bunk. I live in a cell with bars for doors or an open dorm. How do I protect myself from people coughing and sneezing at night? Medical Advice: Unfortunately, reducing risk in open-air dorm rooms is diﬃcult. To protect oneself and others, anyone with symptoms should be immediately evaluated by medical staﬀ and housed alone until they have received results from COVID-19 testing. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Against the rules, but it might be worth asking the COs on your tier/unit to make an exception: Before going to bed at night, cover bars with a clean sheet, garbage bag or the plastic from a new mattress. In double-bunked dorms, people at the bottom can hang the barrier from the top bunk to create a tent. Top bunkers should lay under a sheet as much as possible. What’s the safest way to use the community phone? Medical Advice: Phone receivers, buttons and cords should be disinfected at least daily. Still wash your hands before and after you make a call. If you choose to wrap the receiver with a clean sock or piece of cloth, don’t touch your face with the side that covered the receiver. If you take your makeshift cover Many of the items I purchase from the commissary or canteen are packaged in cardboard or plastic. How can I protect myself? Medical Advice: The virus can stay “alive” on plastic or metal for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24. Try to disinfect or wash with soap any packages. 2 Prison Covid News back to your cell, wash it with soap and water thoroughly. Don’t use it again until it is completely dry; germs thrive on moisture. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Wash your hands before and after you make your call. If you have access to disinfectant, clean the receiver, buttons and cord before and after you use the phone. If you cover the receiver with a clean sock or cloth, follow the medical advice. We have community TVs here. If I don’t watch television, I’ll go crazy. Am I putting myself at an outsized risk? Medical Advice: It’s important to do the best you can to reduce the amount of stress that you are feeling and to get enough sleep. Watching TV may help you do both. Prison/Jail Adaptation: If you feel compelled to convene around the TV, ask your CO if you can try to keep yourself safer by: Covering eyes with shades/glasses, use T-shirts, or scarfs to cover nose and mouth. Should I purchase stolen mess hall gloves? Medical Advice: Proper handwashing is more important than wearing gloves. If you do wear gloves inside your cell, make sure that you don’t touch your face. The gloves will have the same germs on them that your hands would. If you wear gloves outside of your cell, throw them out when you get back or wash them with soapy water and let them fully dry before using them again. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Ask the CO in your area if you can wear plastic or rubber gloves provided by the facility. If you cannot, wear your exercise or winter gloves before touching surfaces. After taking oﬀ the gloves, wash and dry them. Place them directly in front of a fan—if you have access—to speed up the drying process. What should I do if someone who prepares food has symptoms of COVID-19? Medical Advice: Currently, there is no evidence of transmission of coronavirus through food. However, anyone with symptoms should be immediately evaluated. Prison/Jail Adaptation: Respectfully ask the food handler to consult with the medical department. Remember that we are all in this together. There is no need to be rude to symptomatic people who may be afraid and vulnerable. ♥ https://www.themarshallproject.org Volume 1, Number 10 LAST MINUTE VIRUS NEWS UPDATES 80 percent of those who died of Covid-19 in Texas county jails were never convicted of a crime The “devastating human toll” of Covid-19 in Texas’s correctional facilities is revealed in a new report by University of Texas at Austin researchers. Over 80 percent of those who died of Covid-19 in Texas county jails were never convicted of a crime. The report shows 231 people died from COVID-19 in correctional facilities: 190 prison inmates, 14 jail inmates and 27 staﬀ members. https://www.vox.com/2020/11/12/ 21562278/jails-prisons-texas-covid19-coronavirus-crime-prisoners-death Covid cases in prisons in England and Wales double in October The number of prisoners who have tested positive for coronavirus in England and Wales since the start of the pandemic more than doubled in the space of a month in October, ﬁgures reveal. At the end of October, 1,529 prisoners had tested positive for Covid-19 since March, an increase of 883 on the September ﬁgure, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) ﬁgures show. The MoJ has been testing all symptomatic prisoners since April. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/13/covid-cases-in-prisonsin-england-and-wales-double-in-october New COVID-19 cases in Iowa prisons among highest in the nation this week Iowa prisons recorded the third-most new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. this week, according to a report by The Marshall Project. The week of Nov. 10, Iowa saw more than 1,032 prisoners test positive for COVID-19. Only Texas and the federal prison system recorded more new virus cases by Tuesday, with 2,119 and 1,311 new cases, respectively. Michigan prisons also reported 1,011 new virus cases this week. No other state reported more than 1,000 new cases in the same time frame. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2020/11/13/covid-iowa-prisonsthird-most-new-coronavirus-cases-marshall-project/6277293002/ National Guard was deployed to Richland Correctional amid COVID-19 outbreak In the midst of last month's COVID-19 outbreak at Richland Correctional Insti- tution, the Ohio National Guard was deployed to the prison to cover staﬃng gaps. Over a quarter of Richland Correctional's 392 staﬀ members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. https://www.mansﬁeldnewsjournal.com/ story/news/2020/11/13/ohio-nationalguard-deployed-rici-amid-covid-19-outbreak/6257115002/ New Coronavirus testing gor all state prisoners and DOC staﬀ After recent coronavirus outbreaks at several Massachusetts prisons, universal testing of state prisoners and staﬀ began Nov. 14. The Department of Correction says correctional facilities will be in modiﬁed operations for two weeks as tests are conducted on prisoners and staﬀ at all 16 state prisons. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/11/14/ mass-prisons-limit-visitors-for-2-weeksas-it-conducts-more-coronavirus-tests Coronavirus outbreak identiﬁed at Mississippi prison. More than 50 inmates test positive Oﬃcials have identiﬁed a coronavirus outbreak at a prison in the Mississippi Delta in which more than 50 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility is operated by private prison management group. The Mississippi State Department of Health was notiﬁed immediately and MSDH oﬃcials tested all 109 inmates. Of those, 53 test results came back positive. https://www.clarionledger.com/story/ news/local/2020/11/14/mississippi-prison-coronavirus-outbreak-over-50-inmates/6299915002/ Sri Lanka prisons suﬀer COVID-19 outbreak Authorities in Sri Lanka say about 400 inmates from the country's highly-congested prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 as infected cases are surging in the capital and its suburbs. Twelve of the 400 are prison oﬃcers while the rest are inmates. The cases are detected from ﬁve prisons in diﬀerent parts of the country. Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates crowded in facilities designed to hold about 10,000. https://www.startribune.com/the-latestindia-reports-another-41-000-coronaviruscases/573080991/ 3 tion. Also, nine Texas inmates approved for parole died in prison before their release. https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-texas-prisons-0cd4abba679ac501ad3cb567dc7509c2 [The following virus updates are only some of the news stories relating to the pandemic unfolding inside the nation's prisons and jails. Your outside people can read more of this type of reporting, as well as current and back issues of this newsletter, on our website at https://prisoncovid.com. We'vej added some updates from today's (Nov. 16) news on page 3.] COVID-19 is 10 times higher in Oregon prisons than in rest of state, stoking widespread fear among inmates Inmates and even prison employees refusing to wear masks despite mask mandates. Prisoners in Oregon have again and again, relayed frightening stories about life in Oregon’s prisons in the age of COVID-19: Sleeping in dormitories with 50, 80 or more than 100 inmates packed so tightly they can stretch out their arms and touch prisoners on either side. The constant hacking coughs from others echoing throughout the room. Falling ill with symptoms of COVID-19 yet being refused a test and instead being forced to work, potentially exposing countless others. https://www.oregonlive.com/ news/2020/10/covid-19-is-10-times-higher-in-oregon-prisons-than-in-rest-of-statestoking-widespread-fear-among-inmates. html Texas prisons, jails worst COVID-19 hotspots of any in US More Texas jail and prison inmates and staﬀ have been infected and killed by COVID-19 than those of any other state’s criminal justice system, according to a university report. At least 231 inmates and staﬀ members have died of COVID-19 in Texas prisons and jails, according to the report by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Aﬀairs at the University of Texas. The study also found that Texas inmates and staﬀ tested positive for the coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19 at a 490% higher rate than the state’s general popula4 COVID-19 positive inmates no longer isolated at Waupun prison The COVID-19 outbreak at Waupun Correctional Institution is now so large that prison workers can no longer isolate sick inmates from those who are healthy. Last spring, Waupun dealt with a major COVID-19 outbreak that peaked at 224 cases. Now, it's in the midst of an even larger outbreak nearly twice that size, and in a memo to staﬀ, the warden says this outbreak appears to be resulting in illnesses that are "much more severe." https://www.fox6now.com/news/memocovid-19-positive-inmates-no-longer-isolated-at-waupun-prison Hundreds of inmates test positive as COVID-19 rips through New York prison A coronavirus outbreak has ripped through an upstate New York prison where access to medical services and sanitation have long been criticized by advocates and many inmates housed in the facility. Nearly 40% of inmates housed at the Elmira Correctional Facility, a state prison in Elmira, New York, were COVID-19 positive — 588 out of a population of 1,515, according to data released by the state's Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covidnew-york-elmira-correctional-facility-outbreak/ Lethal indiﬀerence to Florida prisoners dying of COVID-19 Florida prisoners are being infected and dying at dramatically higher rates than Florida’s overall population — more than four times higher. That’s despite the Department of Corrections isolating those who are ill and enforcing the masking and social distancing provisions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Prison employees are at greater risk also. The 1,313 infections reported among oﬃcers and others represent a rate more than three times higher than that of Floridians generally. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/ editorials/ﬂ-op-edit-ﬂorida-prisons-covid20201025-qsxsuiybjnep7eshx2wh4ebnuqstory.html Almost half of South Dakota's inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 Cases of COVID-19 more than doubled over the weekend among two South Dakota prisons, and a fourth facility reached more than 100 cases among inmates. The South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls saw the biggest increase of cases over the weekend, with triple the number of inmates testing positive. The facility reported 506 inmates with the virus, up from 166 inmates. The penitentiary has the largest number of staﬀ infections, with 35 reporting testing positive. https://www.argusleader.com/story/ news/2020/10/26/almost-half-south-dakotas-inmates-have-tested-positive-covid-19/6042473002/ Active COVID-19 cases at Pender Correctional rise to the highest in the state Pender Correctional Institution currently has the most active COVID-19 cases among prisons in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, a total of 208 Pender inmates have tested positive for the virus. https://www.wwaytv3.com/2020/10/26/ active-covid-19-cases-at-pender-correctional-rises-to-the-highest-in-the-state/ COVID-19 sickens hundreds of prisoners, staﬀ in northern Michigan The novel coronavirus has torn through a prison in Marquette, infecting 75% of the more than 1,000 men housed there since the pandemic started in March. And 42% of the 327 employees at Marquette Branch Prison in the Upper Peninsula had tested positive for COVID-19. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/ michigan/2020/10/26/marquette-branchprison-coronavirus-outbreak/5990001002/ More than 450 inmates, dozens of staﬀ at Iowa's Anamosa State Penitentiary have COVID-19 Nearly 500 inmates at the Anamosa State Penitentiary have COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/ story/news/2020/11/06/iowa-prison-covid19-outbreak-infects-nearly-500-inmatesanamosa-state-penitentiary-coronavirus/6191782002/ Lockdown at Nevada prison where Prison Covid News 93 inmates COVID-19 positive State prison oﬃcials have ordered a lockdown at a medium-security facility in Northern Nevada after 93 inmates and seven staﬀ members tested positive for the coronavirus. The Nevada Department of Corrections said that additional sanitation measures have been deployed, and all meals are being delivered to individual units during the lockdown. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2020/ nov/06/lockdown-at-nevada-prison-where93-inmates-covid-1/ More COVID-19 Cases In Massachusetts Correctional Facilities Like the rest of Massachusetts, there are increased cases of the coronavirus in state correctional facilities, including 140 prisoners who have now tested positive at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/11/06/ more-covid-19-cases-in-massachusettscorrectional-facilities More than 2,000 New Jersey inmates released to slow spread of coronavirus in prisons More than 2,000 inmates in New Jersey were released in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the state’s prison system — almost a month after the state passed one of the ﬁrst bills in the U.S. to reduce sentences because of the pandemic. Liz Velez, a New Jersey Department of Corrections spokesperson, told NBC News in an email that 2,261 adults nearing the end of their prison sentences were released early Wednesday amid rising coronavirus cases in some state prisons.e than 2,000 New Jersey inmates released to slow spread of coronavirus in prisons. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/usnews/more-2-000-new-jersey-inmates-released-slow-spread-coronavirus-n1246388 El Paso County jail sets state record for largest COVID-19 outbreak among inmates, with 690 sickened Nearly 700 El Paso County jail inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriﬀ's oﬃce announced Tuesday, making Colorado Springs home to the state’s largest outbreak among inmates since the pandemic started. The fast-spreading virus has infected 690 inmates out of 1,229 in custody, marking a nearly tenfold increase in ﬁve days and surpassing all other outbreaks in penal institutions reported by state public health oﬃcials, data show. Volume 1, Number 10 https://gazette.com/news/el-paso-county-jail-sets-state-record-for-largest-covid19-outbreak-among-inmates-with/article_ f01a8738-1e2f-11eb-889b-674f129fc9f3. html COVID-19 outbreak at Maine Correctional Center grows to 81 conﬁrmed cases The COVID-19 outbreak at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham has grown to 81 conﬁrmed cases, the state Department of Corrections said. The department said 72 inmates and nine staﬀ members have tested positive using rapid antigen tests. https://www.pressherald. com/2020/11/03/covid-19-outbreak-atmaine-correctional-center-grows-to81-conﬁrmed-cases/ New COVID-19 outbreak reported at Goose Creek Correctional Center, Alaska’s largest prison Alaska’s largest prison is now home to the latest outbreak of the coronavirus in the state’s correctional system. Twenty-two inmates and ﬁve staﬀ at Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Sarah Gallagher, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Corrections. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/matsu/2020/11/02/new-covid-19-outbreak-reported-at-goose-creek-correctional-centeralaskas-largest-prison/ COVID-19 Cases Among Hawaii Inmates In Arizona Now At 378 COVID-19 Cases Among Hawaii Inmates In Arizona Now At 378. Mass testing of Hawaii convicts who are serving their sentences in a privately run Arizona prison has identiﬁed 317 new cases of COVID-19, according to a written announcement from the state Department of Public Safety. https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/11/ covid-19-cases-among-hawaii-inmates-inarizona-now-at-378/ 79th California prison inmate dies of COVID-19 An inmate at a central California prison died of complications from the coronavirus Saturday, authorities said, becoming the state’s 79th person to have a fatal case of COVID-19 while they were incarcerated. There have been 15,872 conﬁrmed cases of the coronavirus in the state prison system, according to online statistics. The virus has killed more than 17,500 Californians and infected more than 900,000. https://www.mercurynews. com/2020/11/02/79th-california-prisoninmate-dies-of-covid-19-complications-5/ Dozens Of Prisoners At MCI-Norfolk Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Prison oﬃcials say coronavirus testing continues at MCI-Norfolk after an outbreak at the prison last week. Prisoners and attorneys say dozens of men held at Norfolk have tested positive for the virus. It's the third outbreak at a state correctional facility since the end of September. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/11/02/ covid-19-outbreak-mci-norfolk Should Prisoners Have to Pay For Medical Care During a Pandemic? All but 12 states and the District of Columbia charge fees to prisoners who ask to see a doctor; oﬃcials say they want to discourage prisoners from abusing the medical system or stretching staﬀ too thin. Rates are set by each state, ranging from $2 to $8 each time a prisoner seeks a visit, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a national think tank. But low wages in prisons mean this fee could be equivalent to a week’s work, and the cost can discourage prisoners from seeking care. https://www.themarshallproject. org/2020/11/02/should-prisoners-have-topay-for-medical-care-during-a-pandemic 8th inmate dies of coronavirus at Avenal State Prison An eighth inmate at Avenal State Prison has now died after getting the coronavirus while incarcerated. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hasn't released that person's name yet, but says 24 other inmates at Avenal State Prison have the virus right now. https://kmph.com/news/local/8th-inmate-dies-of-coronavirus-at-avenal-stateprison Dozens of inmates test positive for virus at San Diego federal jail At least 56 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus last week at a privately run federal jail in downtown San Diego that houses mostly pretrial inmates, according to defense attorneys briefed on the matter. https://www.latimes.com/california/ story/2020-11-01/dozens-inmates-covid19-san-diego-federal-jail Cases of COVID-19 nearly triple at FCI Fort Dix Virus News ............. Continued on page 10 5 Brother Infected My brother, Shawn, a former marine, contracted the COVID-19 in August. I am his point of contact for emergencies and the prison did not call me to tell me my brother was hanging on by the grace of GOD. Another inmate called me to tell me the horror Shawn endured for 6 days waiting for someone to help him. As an accounted from other inmates, Shawn laid in his cell for 6 days with a fever of 104 before the head nurse pulled him to the inﬁrmary. The only Shawn remembers from this three-week ordeal is waking up wanting to die because he was so sick. As a result of neglect from the prison, he suﬀers memory loss, unsteady gait and has respiratory issues. He has requested an inhaler but to no avail, they have not given him one. I am so disappointed in the legal system and how our prisoners are treated. Yes, some deserve to be there, but bottom line is they are still human. I have conﬁrmation that prisoners are treated like animals, still. Arizona is a very crooked state. My brother ponders why Oregon doesn’t bring in fresh potatoes since they are so close to Idaho potato farms, the questions go on and on and on. It’s all about MONEY for all DOC’s. Shawn and other inmates also told me they were given masks made from used clothing (from other prisons) and the guards were not required to wear masks. How asinine is this? The guards have infected the prison so much they have been on lockdown for months. DOC will NEVER reveal how many have died or suﬀered from COVID. However, my brother has told me that some men never made it back to the Veterans Unit after visiting the inﬁrmary. GOD help us all…. Shantana What lies in front of you Your Newsletter was great—it is so incredible how much you all can inspire one too practice safety... by washing your hand...social distancing... and wearing your mask. It should not ever take for a love one... nor anyone to die for anyone to see an issue so serious. A great portion of news out there heard about this pandemic in October and November of 2019. Two months passed and they still had not taken control of this pandemic. The United States should 6 have been fully alert of this pandemic. I live in Stanley Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. I have seen and experienced a lot in my time here. They let two infected staﬀ members in, and now they’ve locked down the school, PSU, chapel, one wing of a unit, hobby, etc. Who knows what is going to happen next? An associate warden tested positive for COVID-19, and this also under the new warden—not a good start if you ask me. It is hard living here, not able to see my children or grandchildren. I know I have no reason to complain because “If you can’t do the time...don’t do the crime.” I am getting my zoom visit’s, that I am thankful for. What is truly hard, and I think a lot of people may disagree or agree, this pandemic has made doing time become very stressful. For me, not being able to help nor feel the love of our love ones. This is and will be what I think about every day. My deepest thoughts go out to Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, and also too all correctional institutions because this pandemic is not ending soon. However you do your time, please remember your neighbors and your loved one’s, both inside and out. G.T. - Wisconsin Heavy Lifting I think that it may be a good idea for you to contact legal lawyers, along with legal agencies in each state, and then list their addresses in your current newsletters. So that way inmates know who to contact when prison administrations do put their lives in serious risk, jeopardy, or even death. … The problem is that someone needs to ﬁnd these legal agencies and then let their services be made known to those who really need them the most. Donald, Nevada [The above is only a part of Donald’s letter, and I printed this part to make a statement I’ve made too many times to count. What he and so many prisoners often do is to find work for us to perform out here. We should contact the lawyers in each state and provide you with the resources we come up with. We should do this while you sit on your ass and do nothing. If you believe your conditions of existence are going to change for the better because outside do-gooders have done the job for you, well, you’re sadly mistaken. If you want the right to vote you must peace- fully and responsibly struggle for it—just as women and blacks had to do. If you are unhappy with your status as a slave of the state, it must be you on the inside who work to change these things. You must be your own liberators. You have free food, housing, laundry service etc. Unlike us out here in minimum custody, you do not have to worry about getting the rent money or buying groceries. You have time to find these lawyers and then share that information with those who need it. We out here can support you in these eﬀorts, but you on the inside must do the heavy lifting.] LETTERS LETTERS C/Os Work While COVID-19 Positive Here at Racine Correctional Institution the C/0s are working mandatory double shifts. They are tired and mad—that is not good for inmates. There are nine units here, six are on lockdown with positive COVID-19 outbreaks. My unit is included. They “might” come around once a week to test us. But here’s the real problem, three diﬀerent C/0s have spoken out, they have a cOVID-19 relief fund for one week oﬀ. After than they must come back to work. If they tested positive they still have to come back to work as long as they don’t show symptoms. How are we supposed to be safe when C/0s who tested positive are allowed to work? Joe, F.C.I. Petersburg Conditions Bad We are currently on phase one lockdown with multiple infections in our compound. This is due to staﬀ not being pro-active concerning this virus, not wearing masks, infected people in same units as healthy inmates. We are not having out temperatures checked and no means of knowing who is infected and who isn’t. We are not getting hygiene packs at all since August. No cleaning supplies, no real meals. Unit showers and clothing are not being done. They are letting infected inmates run around the unit, door-to-door without masks. We are restricted from phone use and no emails. Jerry, U.S. Penitentiary, Atlanta [The above complaints are an edited version of letters we get from prisoners across the nation. All agree, as this writer states, these condition are "due to staﬀ not being pro-active concerning this virus."] Prison Covid News END SLAVERY IN THE LAND OF THE FREE! By Tarryn Unique y name is Tarryn Unique – I am 31 years and I am a female prisoner incarcerated at C.I.M. I am serving LWOP for murder robbery. I myself and ﬁancé are STRONG ADVOCATES FOR THE TRANSGENDER POPULATION. WE ARE ALSO THE FOUNDERS OF A GRASSROOTS ‘ANARKEY’ MOVEMENT ‘BLEED THE STATE ANARKEY’ [BTSA]. We are anti-socialist, against all forms of systemic oppression from ‘The State’ by way of institutions of gov’t authority. These institutions of ‘The State’ further racisms, sexism and classism by way of force, violence, drugs, manipulations and ‘Jim Crow-ish Laws’. Direct activism involves using the systems of redress provided by said INSTITUTIONS against the SAME INSTITUTIONS. WITH AIMS TO BLEED THE INSTITUTIONS FROM WITHIN, WHILE FREEING THOSE UNDER ITS OPPRESSION, AND DISMANTLING ITS AUTHORITARIAN FUNCTIONS. BTSA’S FORM OF ‘ANARCHO-CAPITALISM’ involves the use of ‘MINIMAL STATE’ to provide SECURITY in an ECONOMIC SENSE. NOT TO BE CONFUSED with COMMUNISTIC ECONOMIC SECURITY measures and practices. Other forms of direct actions employed by our movement is forwarded by DIRECT ACTION WHICH EMPLOYS THE USE OF PROPAGANDA. Social Media calls for activism, EDUCATING THOSE OPPRESSED THAT, IF UNIFIED*, THE OPPRESSED QUICKLY BECOME THE M By Tarryn Unique Volume 1, Number 10 OPPRESSOR. ESPECIALLY IN (SINGLE CHAIN) HIGHLY CENTRALIZED INSTITUTIONS WHERE ONE STANCE OF ACTIVISM CAN CRUMBLE A SYSTEM FROM WITHIN. BTSA is an advocacy group for Social Justice which aims are to combat and end all systematic and institutional forms of oppressions using methods of activism, direct action, protection, among others… BTSA’s Point of View on the entire pressing situation of the pandemic here at CHINO…’Chief’s’….just plain and simple. NO OTHER WORDS TO EXPLAIN THE IGNORANCE. THEY HAVE IGNORED THE FACT THAT C.I.M. IS A MEDICAL FACILITY WITH A BIG POPULATION BEING ELDERLY INDIVIDUALS WITH SOME FORM OF COMPLICATED MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH REQUIRES A MORE HEIGHTENED AWARENESS OF MEDICAL CARE. THIS IS JUST BASIC, CLEAR UPON VISUAL OBSERVATION OF THE ELDERLY MEN WEARING VESTS WHICH INDICATE THEIR CONDITIONS. I was the last transfer into Chino State Prison on 3/11/2020. Just a week into my arrival there were talks of the need to be safe and aware. It was a weekday like any other in prison, an oppressed one, except on either Thursday or Friday there was a Jewish Rabbi sweating profusely with a slight cough, but this is prison norm – seeing sick staﬀ come to work and spread their sickness upon what they see the inmates as: weak-minded, less-than, expensive babysitting and/or just plain dumb. The Rabbi calls out a few inmates, and as a common gesture and extends his sick hand to say hello, and that he would be gone a few days becaue he felt sick. It wasn’t until he went to all ﬁve buildings which were populated with inmates, and passed through the chapel room, Sgt’s, Lt’s, Cpt’s, and C/O oﬃces when either himself or CDCR staﬀ noticed he was sick and was positive for Covid-19. Now common sense would be to lock down Chino and check all inmates who spoke with the Rabbi – CDCR doesn’t work on common sense, only money. Hazardous conditions equal more pay for staﬀ. A few of the inmates took it upon themselves to self-quarantine due to inmate advice, and the others chose the obvious. Now staﬀ knew of the ‘self-quarantine’ inmates inside of ‘Colusa’ [building name], but staﬀ did not see this as camaraderie, they welcomed them to go to chow and eat. Two days later every inmate in contact with the Rabbi slowly started to catch it – and – spread it. On day 61 I said to myself I need to self-quarantine before I become a statistic I advised people of the plan to go ASU, to get away from the inevitable, and just as I expected those who have been brain washed ‘remain oppressed’, and they failed to realize those horrible outcomes. So till this very day I have been in solitary conﬁnement away from the pandemic. I am not delighted in the least but I am grateful for the understanding of a situation I could have been a statistic to. And for those of you ﬁghting the ﬁght I pray for you daily, because what you are feeling out there in society, we have been feeling on a daily basis for years and have outcried the need to abolish prisons entirely. Isolation of any form is a proven fact of mental harm. PLEASE WAKE UP TO WHAT IS GOING ON BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. WE CALL FOR THE ABOLISHMENT OF THE 13TH AMENDMENT, and to END SLAVERY IN THE LAND OF THE FREE! This is a call for justice and a peaceful stance both inside these prison walls and out! ♥ COVID OUTBREAK AT CORCORAN There are more than 500 cases of COVID-19 among inmates at the Corcoran prison - that's about 11% of the prison population. They've been e-mailing about the outbreak, and she's also been getting information from another inmate he mentors in a youth oﬀender program (neither have tested positive for COVID-19 yet). The younger inmate told Hoyt that COVID ran rampant in his building, and he's been raising concerns, from too much mixing and moving of inmates, to too little mask-wearing by correctional oﬃcers. Fifty SATF employees also currently have the disease. "He said they'll do so when the sergeants are around or when it's chow time," Hoyt said. "And then for the rest of the day they take it oﬀ." Late last month, the Oﬃce of the Inspector General released a report detailing CDCR's failures to enforce mask wearing among inmates and staﬀ at its facilities. ♥ 7 ED'S COMMENTS W e started this little newsletter back in April, as soon as we learned how badly the COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging its way across the nation’s prisons. We felt there was a need for prisoners to be better informed about this subject, as the bourgeois media was not adequately reporting what was taking place on the inside. I think it was in the August issue that we ﬁrst asked readers to kick down two stamps for every issue they wanted to receive—one stamp to pay for the materials used to create the newsletter, and the other to mail it to you. So far, the response from prisoners has been a bit underwhelming. If you do not have stamps or money, or outside people to help you, then send us artwork from the inside. Look at the drawing on page two, done by Tarryn Unique, a prisoner in the California State Prison at Corcoran. There is another reason we would like to have your stamps or checks for subscriptions, beyond helping us to defray the costs of production and mailing, and that is your contributions represents a yardstick by which we measure how much interest there is in the work we do. If you on the inside are not interested in the content we provide, then why should we waste our time, energy, and money sending this newsletter to you every few weeks. In short, your contributions are a measure of just how much the service we provide is needed. If it is not important to you to kick down a few stamps or to send us a check, then why should we bother? We could spend the resources used to produce this newsletter on more important things. This newsletter goes into prisons in every state, and to many prisons in each of those states, and also to many readers in each of those prisons. Volunteers do all the labor and pay all the costs. This is not a sustainable situation. Bottom line: you step up or we step out. Nothing worth anything is free. Like I said, if you don’t have stamps or money, then send us artwork. For 15 years I ran a website called Prison Art, where I sold the arts and crafts of prisoners. I shut the site down once it was discovered I had advanced stage lung cancer, yet I’ve always had a soft spot for ﬂash art from the inside. Besides, we have been thinking of having an auction to help raise money for the newsletter. We were thinking about selling 8 our personal treasures, but artwork from the inside would help a lot. Now for some bad news. Many prisoners in Pennsylvania are having their newsletters returned marked “Refused” by the service that processes their mail. Prisons in some states use a private mail processing service to handle prisoner mail. No doubt this saves the state a few bucks and allows them to gives money to their cronies. But as usual, when state functions are privatized those who suﬀer are the poor. Take medical for example, what's more important to them, corporate proﬁts or the quality of your health care? So in this particular instance, if you write a letter to a prisoner it must go to an address in Pennsylvania. If you send that same prisoner a publication, however, it must go to an address in Florida in order to reach the same individual. When prisoners write and ask for a subscription with a return address for correspondence. Then their newsletters come back marked "Refused." No notice of rejection or opportunity to appeal. The prisoners are also at fault for not giving me the correct address. But still, privatized mail handling? I am appalled at what today's prisoners allow themselves to be subjected to. Moving right along, the person who types up most of the letters you send us asked that you write clearly and legibly when you write letters and articles. I do the keyboarding too, and sometimes we both have a problem reading what you write. Now some more virus news: This week, new infections among prisoners again increased sharply to their highest level since the start of the pandemic, far exceeding previous peaks. At least 182,593 people in prison had tested positive for the illness, an 8 percent increase from the week before. Iowa, Michigan and the federal prison system each saw more than 1,000 prisoners test positive this week, while Texas prisons surpassed 2,000 new cases. Cases among staﬀ also continue a troubling rise. The latest federal prison outbreak, in Fort Dix, New Jersey, appears to have been seeded by busloads of prisoners transferred from Elkton, Ohio, site of an earlier deadly outbreak. “It is filthy, people are ill, everyone is depressed, everyone looks like death,” one prisoner said. Inside the Pickaway, Ohio, state prison where three quarters of the population tested positive and dozens died. A Colorado jail is the state’s second largest virus hotspot, detainees weren’t provided masks until last week. ♥ "I'M GONNA DIE IN HERE" Investigation Shows How Jails' Privatized Healthcare Places Proﬁt Over Prisoners, With Deadly Results by Brett Wilkins, staﬀ writer Reuters report found that inmates in jails with contracted medical services were more likely to die and suﬀer substandard care than those in facilities with publicly managed care. U.S. jails in which healthcare has been contracted out to private providers experienced inmate death rates up to 58% higher than detention facilities with publicly managed medical services, a Reuters investigation published Monday found. Reuters reviewed inmate deaths in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2016 to 2018 and found that facilities where healthcare was run by one of the country's ﬁve top prison medical services companies had signiﬁcantly higher mortality rates. The national average for jails where local public health or law enforcement departments managed healhcare during that period was 12.8 deaths per 100,000 inmates. Detention centers with privatized healthcare experienced between 2.3 to 7.4 additional annual deaths depending on the company providing care, an increase of between 18% and 58%. "I need to go to the hospital," Loﬂin pleaded. "I'm gonna die in here." But management at Corizon Health Inc.—a privately-held company with an exceedingly long list of wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits—rejected the request of the jail's medical staﬀ. By the time Corizon approved Loﬂin's hospitalization, it was too late. He died after suﬀering irreversible brain damage. "You've got counties being greedy, not wanting to spend money on medical care, and companies saying, 'We can do this, we can do it cheaper for you,'" Dr. Robert Greiﬁnger, former chief medical oﬃcer for the New York State Department of Correctional Services, told Reuters. "How do companies achieve those economies? Part of it is being stingy with care." ♥ A Hopeful for unity... Eager for change. David Carr, Oregon SHU Prison Covid News DEFUND DOC AND DECARCERATE! T his group is a subgroup of the COVID-19 Mutual Aid WA, who are out here pushing legislation for us locked up inside and I want to get this information out there to as many of my friends, family, and allies as possible so this is the mission: Dear Friends, #FreeThemAll WA, P.O. Box 30624, Seattle, Washington.98113 is a subgroup of the Covid 19 Mutual Aid WA. COVID-19 Mutual Aid is a community-based network based on the principles that it is imperative we prepare for the unknown through creating and sustaining social networks of people who are committed to engaging in the community care work that makes for resilient and powerful support groups. #FreeThemAll WA is organizing with incarcerated siblings and other system-impacted folks like our families out there to demand that Washington State defund DOC and decarcerate now! These people are reaching out today to share their own Movement to get us out who no longer belong in prison, were over-sentenced, and/or we're very young, now only being warehoused for the beneﬁt of proﬁt by these criminals running the DOC. #FreeThemAll WA has already adopted the legislative demands being proposed by the Coalition of incarcerated groups who are working with our Republic to push this legislation into existence, including the Asian Paciﬁc Islanders Cultural Awareness Group, Black Prisoners Caucus, Concerned Lifers Organization, Native American Community, Latino Development Organization, and the State Raised Group, all of which are at the Washington State Reformatory, and working hard with the Republic to push the following legislation. The four demands of #FreeThemAll WA: 1. DECARCERATE WADOC By 50% IMMEDIATELY! 2. DEFUND DOC BY AT LEAST $300 Volume 1, Number 10 MILLION (50%) 3. IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR CURRENTLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUALS, IMMEDIATELY! 4. #CareNotCages: INVEST IN COMMUNITY REENTRY AND REDUCE POST-RELEASE SURVEILLANCE! These are the goals in order to Dismantle, Change, and Rebuild this corrupt organization called the (WADOC) which has become nothing more than a money pit for the WADOC to extort money from our taxpayers of the State of Washington by and through extensive overtime shifts especially during this COVID-19 Pandemic, but always, which I currently have a Public Disclosure Request in to uncover, and bring to the light. Through the Correctional Industries which has extorted millions of dollars from our families and the taxpayers of Washington, speciﬁcally the over 1.3 Million Dollars collected to feed the Monroe Correctional Complex hot breakfast since July 2019. Through the J-pay system where they extort millions of dollars, and when there are cuts to be made where do the criminal organization called the WADOC make cuts? Our programs. The ‘Budget Cuts’ currently proposed are for the 2021 budget shortfall are targets at programs that SUPPORT INCARCERATED INDIVIDUALS. These include: • Graduated Reentry program: $540,000 • Housing Vouchers Program: $674,000 • Community Chemical Dependency Program: $1.5 Million How does this sound to the Republic of Washington? Let’s make cuts to the things that will help the prisoner population get back to their families faster and assist them in staying out when they get out. Does this make sense? Only for the Washington State Department of Corrections to keep us locked up and coming back. But how about cutting some of these cops overtime hours... Excuse me... Guess this is supposed to be professional huh? Let’s talk about letting people out... Or STOP talking about it, and do it, and DO IT!!! Now we already have this Senate Bill 6164 and 5488 passed by the legislature ﬁnally. LET THE JUVENILES OUT! Bring them back and let them out! I have ﬁve on my 78-man tier right now who fell when they were actual children, all been down over ten years. No murders! No rapes! LET THEM OUT!!! Many old men in here in their late 60’s and 70’s been down over 25 years. LET THEM OUT!!! Expedite the Senate Bills that have already been passed, SB 6164 and 5488. These are the Senate Bills we want to be passed this coming legislative year that promote Defunding and Decarcerating our people and releasing our families from their own hardships: • Expand the EMERGING ADULTS BILL to age 25. • Prohibit JUVENILE POINTS from being used in adult sentencing. • Restore GOOD CONDUCT TIME for serious violent crimes for up to 1/3 their sentence. • Eliminate MINIMUM SENTENCING LAWS, under which judicial discretion is minimized and systematic incarceration is further facilitated. Now, I am not a part of any cultural or political organization. I AM an independent thinker and man, and currently Unlawfully Restrained Thirteenth Amendment Citizen ﬁghting for the Critical Resistance against the Prison Industrial Complex, bad government, and corrupt police. My mission in life is to Dismantle, Change and Rebuild this corrupt money pit called the Washington State Department Of Corrections. Join WE THE PEOPLE in the Resistance. Dismantle, Change, Rebuild!!! ♥ By C.W,, Washington State Penitentiary A Nation's Treaty Ignored 2.2 Million US Slaves “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery … shall be prohibited in all their forms.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 4, a treaty the US is a signatory to. 9 COVID News ....... Continued from page 5 The number of COVID-19 cases inside Federal Ccorrectional Iinstitution at Fort Dix nearly tripled on two days earlier, according to data reported by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. As of Oct. 30, 165 inmates inside the federal prison had tested positive for the virus, nearly tripling the 59 cases the previous day. Eight staﬀ members have also tested positive. https://www.burlingtoncountytimes. com/story/news/2020/10/31/cases-covid19-fci-fort-dix-nearly-triple/6103081002/ COVID-19: More than 100 inmates in Rapid City prison test positive The South Dakota Department of Corrections in its weekday updates of COVID-19 in the state's prisons said that 184 inmates at the Rapid City Community Work Center have tested positive, and just one has reported recovering. https://www.argusleader.com/story/ news/2020/11/10/covid-19-more-than100-inmates-rapid-city-prison-test-positive/6235170002/ Number of cases in Maryland prisons tops 1,000 since pandemic began Two Maryland inmates died from COVID-19 late last month, bringing the total number of inmate coronavirus deaths to 13, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. More than 1,000 inmates have contracted the virus since March. Two correctional workers have died, according to the department, and 808 guards, correctional staﬀ and contract workers have tested have tested positive for the virus. https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-covid-cases-prisonsmaryland-20201110-cqgbk7zlgzhtbiv7w5ci3dt6sm-story.html makers-have-grave-concerns-over-howoﬃcials-are-handling-covid-19-outbreakat-nj-prison.html Lawmakers have ‘grave concerns’ over how oﬃcials are handling COVID-19 outbreak at N.J. prison A group of New Jersey members of Congress on Monday called on the federal Bureau of Prisons to halt inmate transfers to Fort Dix correctional institution — which has the second most current cases of COVID-19 of any federal prison in the country — until it implements a testing strategy and there are no active cases. https://www.nj.com/news/2020/11/law- Prisons and jails have become a ‘public health threat’ during the pandemic Within a week, 23 inmates and 17 staﬀ members were found to be infected. One inmate died hours after testing positive. Within a month, more than three-quarters of Pickaway’s roughly 2,000 inmates were conﬁrmed positive. By the end of May, 35 were dead. https://www.washingtonpost.com/ national/coronavirus-outbreaks-prisons/2020/11/11.html Pennsylvania prisons face a deadly ‘full-blown resurgence’ of COVID-19 The number of positive cases reported by the DOC stood at 442 prisoners and 244 staﬀ. There has not been a single time during this pandemic that there have been that many active cases. So far, 17 incarcerated people have died — six of them since midOctober. https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-prison-outbreak-coronavirus-pandemic-cases-20201112.html Prison Covid Newsletter © PO Box 48064 Burien, WA 98148 FIRST CLASS MAIL ________________________________