by Oakland ABOSOL
A COVID outbreak and CDCr negligence have racked the CSP-Solano prison now for two and a half months and taken five lives. This past week saw collective counter-organizing by prisoners: work strikes declared, sit-ins planned and demands issued. Administration met the demand that untested transfers not be placed in COVID negative yards and narrowly avoided wholesale disruption of the institution.
Below is a report sent to us from someone incarcerated within Solano painting a picture of the gross mismanagement and abuse they are enduring. They remain anonymous due to risk of retaliation from guards and officials. – Oakland Abolition and Solidarity, Feb. 17, 2021
Ok, bro, so real quick: As far as the COVID shit ongoing here, this is not to fuck up our program but to put the outside society on notice about how we are being treated here during this pandemic.
Here in Solano Prison, our lives are literally being endangered by the administration and medical staff. There is no set protocol here, so the administration takes it upon itself to determine what to do without thoroughly looking at the cause and effect of its actions.
For instance, administration is constantly moving people around who are coming up positive with COVID or flu to other yards and blocks where there are no sick people. They force inmates to move from their blocks (aka homes) where they were not sick to accommodate people who were allegedly positive with COVID.
They move the people who aren’t sick to yards where the majority of alleged positives came from. And then they move the sick people to the yard where there were no positive COVID inmates.
They cleared out another block and moved more alleged COVID positive inmates to that block on the same yard. Once they did that, people started coming up sick.
The yard officers have added to endangering the lives of the inmate population with their refusal to take safety measures to ensure they don’t contaminate or jeopardize inmates’ lives and continue to do random unnecessary searches even when those blocks are quarantined.
On several other occasions, inmates were tested and allegedly came up positive and were moved to either the gym or in one of the isolation blocks. Upon their arrival to these areas, further testing was done and, come to find out, those individuals had false positives, but were still kept there in those infected areas. They eventually ended up sick.
Furthermore, the C/Os (correctional officers), mainly the yard officers, have added to endangering the lives of the inmate population with their refusal to take safety measures to ensure they don’t contaminate or jeopardize inmates’ lives. These yard C/Os come into the blocks and continue to do random unnecessary searches even when those blocks are quarantined.
During these searches, these officers do not wash their hands nor do they change their gloves or don new medical gowns when they go from cell to cell to harass people. Mind you these same officers do this from block to block, cross-contaminating blocks.
And to add to this frustration, these yard officers are yard officers and are not even supposed to leave the yard: They are there to secure the yard, staff and inmates included. Yet they abandon their post to go into blocks for personal reasons, leaving the yard unattended just to get their rocks off. Several inmates came up positive directly after these searches took place in their cell.
The inmates here have to take test after test and do not come up positive, yet the staff do not have to take these tests upon them coming to work. They maybe test once a month. There have been officers who have come up positive who are still allowed to come to work as long as they are not showing signs or symptoms.
Lastly, when someone comes up positive, they remove that person and his celly even though his celly doesn’t have COVID. They move both inmates to sick areas, jeopardizing the inmate who is still testing negative.
Administration says that is protocol, but that’s not true because nobody across the globe has an actual protocol to deal with a pandemic especially one of such magnitude. Administration is literally not caring who’s lives they place in harms way.
To add to this, administration is also refusing to give us yard dayroom or program blaming it on this COVID stuff, although the stay at home order on the streets isn’t even in full effect. Many of us have only gotten to see the sun once or twice in months, and when we do, we only get 30 to 45 minutes outside because they separate the blocks into three sections even though we all live together and are quarantined with each other in the same space.
We also don’t even get our full time outside because we are constantly let out late or medical staff are in the building. We can’t be let out with them in the building, yet they come in every day to test us and interact with every single inmate in the building.
We are being denied basic rights and liberties and are forced to concede or we’ll be denied canteen and yard, or won’t have dayroom, etc.
This is far from unfair; it’s inhuman.
Taxpayers! Your money isn’t being used to rehabilitate; it’s being used to pay administration and its officers overtime for doing nothing.
Oakland Abolition and Solidarity (ABOSOL), previously Oakland IWOC, can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 12594, Oakland CA 94604, and by email at email@example.com.