Living with COVID in prison
Guys are staring to test positive in my cell house. Thus far I have no symptoms. I am so glad I am vaccinated.
It’s so sad around here. There is no movement. Only a few of us work, and if you don’t work there is no place for a person to go. It seems like this pandemic is never-ending, and it makes it even harder for us on the inside.
It’s like all of our liberties have been stripped from us. All we have to look forward to is waking up in the morning. And I know the younger guys are not thankful for that, either. Plus, guys in here are still having to deal with their trauma. Three guys around me have had family members murdered.
It’s so hard to grieve when you don’t have space to be alone and don’t have the proper people to talk to. You just have to deal with it. There are no extra phone calls to make to speak to loved ones. It’s really hard that there is no platform to tell your story, that people only see us as the crime we committed decades ago, not the human beings we are today.
We are people buried alive with no voice and little hope. Maybe being conscious of that is why I can’t sleep right now.
Lonnie Smith, Stateville Correctional Center
Live from Stateville, Lonnie Smith B00708
Chicago Tonight (PBS) did a segment on how bad the supply chain is in here, like I reported before but now it is coming out that there are some vender contact disputes as the reason we're not receiving the basic items we depend on in here from the commissary. They spoke briefly on how we're suffering from the rise in COVID-19 cases and not having basic things to keep clean, but they didn't touch on that. During this period you are also locked into a small cell with another person. It also comes down to a lot of resentment and hostility with cell mates if one has more than the other. Some people are ants and others are grasshoppers. Where like me I ration and store food the best I can, I've lived with people who eat all of their stuff rather quickly and when they don't have some later they feel like people should share their items this leads to a lot of conflict as you might imagine. And when your not getting along with your cellie its hard to get the staff to move you or one of you. This is what has lead too a bunch of fights and stabbings during this pandemic. We're struggling in here and our emotional well-being is not good. As far as I see it the way the IDOC has handled the this last virus outbreak, we should just be running under normal operation. Because they're not keeping us safe they're just keeping us lockdown. Without the virus, the condition we're under are seen as cruel and unusual punishment by the courts, but now we're expected to endure this crisis like we're some type of trained pandemic survivalist mentally and physically. Coping with all this ambiguous loss in a time of this pandemic makes it hard to look in the future with hope and possibility. We are the forgotten people on the out's of society fending for ourselves.
To view the Chicago Tonight Segment, visit here.
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