Who are the Insiders? They are the men and women, boys and girls incarcerated due a sexual crime conviction. NARSOL has received articles, op-eds, and original art from them for many years now, and their contributions, published in the Digest, offer unique perspectives on life behind bars. With the onset of Covid-19, the Coronavirus, emails have come in to us from federal prisons all over the country through the BOP Corrlinks Program. Too voluminous to publish in one Digest, we offer them here, on the serialized section of our blog, roughly in chronological order.
Part I: The Beginning
We are not allowed visitation from the outside for at least 30 days because of the Coronavirus. They claim that no one in the whole BOP has been found to have it, and that this is phase two. They still aren’t giving us bleach or the good cleaner to scrub with.
Christopher (Lompoc, California)
3/25 They put us on lockdown about 12:30 on 3/25. We assume it’s COVID related. All units kept separated. Fed in the dorms. No info given out for sure. Will let you know what I hear/see.
3/31 It’s being reported on the radio – 106.3 Lompoc Area (Yes, I heard it myself, not inmate.com) that 3 inmates and one staff have tested positive for COVID. It is not clear if it is at the USP Lompoc (Medium), FCI Lompoc (Low) or the Camp (minimum). I asked the counselor and got blank stare. Will keep you posted.
William 4/3 (Pekin, Illinois)
So the BOP, in its infinite stupidity, has locked the whole nation down as a publicity stunt and to appear to the American people that they actually do anything worthwhile for people. They say we are not being punished or anything, but they are feeding us less, won’t let us get things like ice and hot water while we are getting chow. There is no rec at all. No nothing. The BOP has claimed one death due to COVID-19 in Oakdale, Louisiana. They say there are 23 cases in the inmate population and 24 cases with the staff. It is not here at Pekin yet, but I am sure it will come around before you know it. It only takes one person to set it off. We are the ones that are going to infect the staff with it because it started in prisons, right? So we get to pay a price for it I guess.
They are letting us spend twenty-five dollars at the store per week though, and laundry is still getting done weekly. We get one hot meal a day, but the amount of food is definitely less than normal.
Even though they passed a law allowing and urging the BOP to let those inmates go that are at risk, elderly, close to leaving, non-violent, the BOP has yet to do so and is not required to do so either under the new law. It’s more the government saying, “Hey if you want to go ahead and release people, do it. But if you don’t there is no problem with that either.” Politics is the key thing that is slowing down the healing of our world. Profit mongers and fear mongers out there are exploiting this to the max.
So I’ll be in my cell most of the time. They will more than likely let us out a little at a time to take a shower and use this computer. It will more than likely be every three days. I hope all of you are safe and healthy. That everyone has all their needs met.
I pray that the country gets back to normal, but I don’t know that it will. I think the opportunists out there will try and make some real drastic permanent changes to the country but not in the best interests of the people. I feel like this is a serious wake up call to the whole world, but I don’t think the answer is more laws that restrict people even more than you already are. Because believe me you are restricted a great deal; it’s just that people have become so used to it and are so beaten down that they don’t see it that way.
Wakey, wakey world, get up and open your eyes. These are the birthing pains of a new world that’s coming. We are all part of the light that is God. He is in us as we are in Him. Bless this and see the perfection in it. God’s will be done.
I love you all very much.