The Coronavirus as seen through the eyes of our Insiders

Part V: The Caronavirus has become a joke

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

Jay 4/15 (OSCI, Salem, Oregon)

The Coronavirus pandemic has become a joke, and deliberate indifference is shown toward an outbreak among inmates here at Oregon State Correctional Institution.

– Social distancing measures did not go into effect until April 8 despite the Governor’s “Safer At Home” measure, and it still does not go far enough.

– Hand soap dispensers are empty beside posters taped to the wall that encourage the frequent washing of hands.

– Cloth masks were issued to unit food service workers on April 13, but since they are not required to wear them, they don’t.

– Nursing staff at HSU (health services unit) wear masks, but security officers there and on the unit do not; in fact, they joke about who is infected.

– My cellmate was put in segregation on Unit W (where inmates already tested positive) for 10 days, then returned to share a cell with me — he now has a dry cough and may have brought the infection in with him, putting myself and the entire unit at risk; inmates from other buildings were transferred to my unit suddenly as well, thwarting efforts to reduce cross-contamination between units by reducing access to recreation yards, school, libraries and other amenities to single units at a time.

– Some inmates on the other hand are REQUIRED to mix with inmates from other units, such as maintenance and food preparation workers. They are either not provided or not required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment), nor do the staff who supervise them; daily they go back and forth, possibly spreading contamination.

– Supposedly inmates displaying “flu-like” symptoms can see HSU without the $7.50 copay, though there are reports of inmates with coughs, congestion, even fever being sent back to their (shared) cells, without being tested, and still being charged what is more than a week’s wages for some, a sufficiently-effective deterrent to asking for medical help.

– Visitors and outside volunteers who run religious services and other programming have been banned for weeks, but staff come in and out daily, and it is unclear what kind of screening or testing they undergo.

– We see news reports not just of the alarming numbers around the nation and state but also what’s happening at other institutions, such as nursing homes and especially Riker’s Island and the Cook County Jail.

I would not doubt there are many other unsafe violations of good judgment and safety measures; this is only what I see on a firsthand daily basis. I was hesitant to send this because some inmates are complaining messages are being held back or disappearing when they are critical of DOC, and there is always the fear of retribution. I feel it is important to let the world know what’s happening inside the electric fences. We are without a voice; don’t let us be invisible and forgotten about. If truly “we are all in this together,” then please help me bring these situations to public awareness.

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    • #71889 Reply
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      Jim

      The article says the information came from “OSCI, Salem, Oregon,” but clearly describes “OSCI” in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. All of the facts mentioned in the article correspond to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections facility at Oshkosh.

    • #71885 Reply
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      Perry

      See. This is EXACTLY, what I’ve been talking about for the longest time. I feel for Jay and every Inmate at this Institution. What’s happening is simple. The Oregon DOC, is openly allowing this Disease to destroy Inmates. Inmates that are also Human Beings! No Soap to wash their hands. sending Infected Men back to the Units to the Cells to Infect their Cellmates-if they too aren’t infected themselves already-and ensuring that NONE OF THEM, can get adequate Medical Attention. Requiring a Co-Pay? THEY KNOW, these Men can’t afford a $7.50 Co-Pay, but willingly take the money anyway, for what ‘So-Called Precious Little’ care they MIGHT get! Yes Jay, I sincerely hope NARSOL sends this out over YouTube. You can’t trust that The Media will report it. They’ll water it down to something less that what you’ve said, and even make it sound like you’re making this up…which I don’t see how you could, given what you’ve said. I certainly believe you, and am praying for you all.
      If Every Family of someone locked up in Jail or a State or Federal Institution were to go March on Washington D.C. and Protest in front of The White House about how the so-called ‘Justice Department’ and ‘Bureau of Draconian Prisons’ are allowing Institutions to allow Coronavirus to kill off their Loved Ones, I bet there would be a shake up. I’m saying this yet again: When this Virus kills off enough People-and I Pray to Almighty GOD I’m not one of those who will die-maybe…just maybe many of those who lost a Loved One or Two, will be someone who’s a State Or Federal Legislator, and plainly see that The Registry is a Two-Edged Sword that truly DOES, Cut Both Ways!
      Then, maybe they’ll see just how Unjust that AND The Prison System REALLY is, and they’ll try to change it so that it’s Humane for once!
      By The Way; let’s see how These ‘Far-Right’ Knuckleheads feel when Coronavirus takes a few of THEIR Relatives that work in Prisons as Correctional Officers, Nurses, Doctors, Maintenance Staff, Kitchen Supervisors, Teachers, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Recreational Staff, Institutional Parole Staff, Wardens, Deputy Wardens, Security Majors, and Etcetera!
      They’ll REALLY be crying then!!
      Done.

    • #71929 Reply
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      Donna M

      Jay, my heart goes out to you and all the other inmates who are being treated so unfairly. I am all for a march on Washington but I fear not enough people would show up and then it would be a “See nobody really cares” attitude to our legislators.

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