The Coronavirus as seen through the eyes of our Insiders

Part VIII: “In case I die”

See also   Part I   Part II  Part III   Part IV   Part V   Part VI   Part VII  Part IX   Part X   Part XI  Part XII

Jesse (Oakdale Federal Prison, Oakdale, LA)

4/26 Everything is chaotic here. The staff and inmates have no clue what’s happening or what to do. We watch as person after person is carried away on a stretcher or sent off to a quarantine unit. We’re all scared for our health, for our friends and family. We try to ask questions about the illness, why are some people being sent to quarantine and others not, what will happen to us, etc, but no one will answer our questions. Everyone, staff and inmates, are stressed and exhausted dealing with something that seems to only get worse every day and has no end in sight.

4/27 I get up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work in the kitchen. After our temperature is checked, we get escorted to work, serving over 3,000 meals a day with a fraction of our normal staff. We work non-stop until we leave exhausted at 3:30 for count. After count we have one-to-two hours to shower, eat, call home, and use the computer before we’re locked in our cells. We’re usually asleep as soon as count clears so we can be ready for another day of work in the morning.

4/28 A poem to my mom

There’s something I want to say before it comes to take my life away.

I’m sorry this is the place I ended up in, and now it looks like I’m going to hurt you once again.

You thought my time was almost through and that I’d get to come home to you.

But Covid came to jail and went cell to cell.

The guards say they’ll protect me but I know it’s a lie, so this my last letter in case I die.


What else is there for me to say; my mistake threw my life away.

I never feared this place with its locks, chains and gates or a society that only looks upon me with hate.

But a little virus shakes me to the core, and it’s you that my heart fears for.

If it gets me, know that I love you and please don’t cry. This is my last letter in case I die.


It’s lights out and I have to go. Whatever happens I want you to know

You’re the greatest mom, and to stay healthy I promise I’ll try, but this is my last letter in case I die.

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    • #71949 Reply


      Very sad and true. I am a mother too with a son in Federal Prison. This man your son will be home to you and so will mine. Believe that and it will be. God bless all these men in prison and their families. As of today, 2066 inmates have Covid, or are listed to have it and 359 staff in the Federal system. 45 inmates have died and 0 staff. why so many inmates?
      They must not be getting the care they need, No control over their own destiny. Someone has to pay for this injustice.

    • #71955 Reply

      Steve P

      Jesus this is heartbreaking.

    • #71958 Reply

      Adam S.

      I need to ask… what more is it that people want the prisons to do for people? 100% isolation from other prisoners is not possible; certain things like food services and laundry need to happen, as do janitorial services…. and staff cannot do all of these services and maintain the safety and security of the entire prison (considering how understaffed most prisons truly are). Also, almost no prisons (save super-maxes) are set up to isolate prisoners from one another in a way that could 100% prevent the spread of anything like covid-19. Even if that were possible, it would require the suspension of privileges and services that a lot of these ‘insiders’ seem to be complaining about.

      Unless you propose building new facilities with 100% isolation capabilities that won’t be finished until this pandemic is over anyway, there literally is no solution. Advocating for the release of prisoners is a non-starter; the needs for restorative justice and the rights of the victims are to be considered, too. The convicted still need to serve their legally mandated sentences, and anything less than incarceration is an affront to American justice and the rights of the victims to see justice done.

      There is literally nothing anyone can do here and it doesn’t further the cause of abolishing the registry to hear people whining about a situation that they got themselves into before a pandemic began.

      Per capita (as in, adjusted for population), is the number of prisoners infected or dead from Covid higher or lower, percentage-wise, than that of the general population? 2 million prisoners vs 350+ million Americans. GO!

    • #73927 Reply


      Sanctioned Murder! That’s all this is. It isn’t over yet either. Once this Virus kills off as many people inside the Prisons as it can, it will break out back to all communities again…MUTATED! Remember, POLITICIANS WANTED THIS!

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