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Prison Covid, COVID-19 Information for Prisoners and Staff No. 6, 2020

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COVID 19 IInformation
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reetings and solidarity to all who
read this. I thought I would take
the time to put this pen to paper
and share some insight on the way Oregon
DOC has been dealing with the COVID
crisis, specifically here at EOCI…A few
months back this prison had a wave of illness sweep through this population, that
left a couple hundred people on the verge
of pneumonia…We had yet to hear about
COVID-19 and were being told that we’d
simply contracted a strain of influenza that
was not covered in our annual vaccine.
“Nothing to worry about”, we were told.
Well I can tell you first hand that what I
caught felt like death. It began with the
chills, then fatigue and vertigo. Next was
the slight sore-throat followed by the bone
and joint aches…The pain that developed
in my body made me feel as though I’d
been hit by a truck. I lost my appetite and
didn’t eat a bite for five days. I slept in

You've Been Exposed ..............1
On GOP COVID package ........2
Hunger Strike Press Release...2
Families Want COVID Info .......3
Corona Virus Updates..............4
Letters ......................................6
Short Shots ..............................7
Lost Liberty, not Humanity .......8
Ed's Comments........................9

and out of consciousness like some weird
dream mixed with a shitty reality. When
I was finally able to see a nurse, I had already lost 10 pounds. I was told that I was
“definitely sick” then given a mask along
with some pills and told to stay in my cell
as much as possible, as to not infect the
others (except my cellie apparently). I was
told that when I regained my appetite I was
to attend chow with the “mask line” which
meant that everyone with a mask was to go
to chow last, though they did not designate
any places for us to sit or bother to keep
us separated from everyone else, therefore
making our self-isolation pointless.
For the next few days, I had daily checkups with a nurse, who at one point asked
me if I had been hallucinating given the
fact that I had a fever for close to a week….
At its worst my lungs began to fill with fluid and I was having a hard time breathing.
I dealt with all that for approximately two
weeks, then I spent close to a month recovering. I had gone from 175 pounds to 150
and I continued to have respiratory issues
for some time.
Our prison dealt with this for at least
two months before they started making
half-assed changes to protect against COVID-19.
These changes consisted of suspending our visits along with all the programs,
education and religious services. They took
away our weights and cancelled sports
activities but they continue to keep us
confined in close quarters and have done
nothing to reduce the level of stress and irritation that all this has caused. Yet, while
they suspended everything that kept us
sane DOC continued to operate both the
Garment Factory and the Call Center where
they have outside work contracts. What do

these outside companies care if their workers are sick? They don’t provide healthcare
and they know there are plenty of other
prisoners that would gladly take their place
because everyone could use that $200 paycheck…What really gets me though is the
fact that the changes that were made were
ones that supposedly kept us from gathering amongst each other as though the prisoners are somehow responsible for bringing these viruses in and spreading them.
And while they’ve passed out masks so
that we had the option to wear them or not
except at certain work places where it becomes mandatory for us they still haven’t
made these guards or other staff wear them
though they are the only ones with contact
to the outside world.
What sickens me the most is the level of
pride these cops get from refusing to wear
the masks. They are quick to quote Trump
rhetoric and talk about how COVID-19 is
“fake news”. They say “you can’t believe
everything you see on T.V.”, that nobody
is getting sick out there and that it is all a
“left-wing” conspiracy to cause upheaval
during hero’s election campaign… On the
other hand it saddens me to see the level of
apathy that exists among Oregon prisoners.
There was rumor circulating about inmates here posing for a photo in the chow
hall that showed people wearing masks but
also sitting one to a table to prove the prison was complying with COVID-19 regulations. Nothing about that photo is normal
procedure and I did not want to believe that
any prisoners would willingly participate
in that hoax…but on June 3rd 2020 I saw for
myself not only how uncaring folks have
become out here but also how nonchalantly
Oregon DOC puts out deception to the outside community.

One the morning of June 3rd the prison
re-opened its inmate barbershop. We were
told that we needed to bring our masks
if we wanted a haircut. Upon arriving at
the gym where the barbershop is located
they asked us to spread out on the bleachers, which was strange since they have us
crowded together any other time. But as
soon as one of the “inmate secretaries” for
the gym came out with a camera it became
obvious that this was a planned photo opp.
This inmate asked if he could take our picture and I immediately declined and told
him and the officers that I wasn’t going to
participate in their charade. I stepped aside
as did a couple others and the picture was
taken. Afterward they proceeded to tell us
that the picture was going to be sent to the
capitol to show that the prison is acting in
accordance with the state’s covid regulations.
Once I heard what I already had suspected I told these guys that I did not condone
what they were doing and suggested they
take some pictures of the officers not wearing any masks…I believe that this is willful
negligence on behalf of EOCI Staff and I
encourage anyone who may have litigation
pending around this issue request the security tapes be subpoenaed to show the truth
about DOC lies and deception.
This prison has many elderly folk who
are at a real risk should we get hit with another virus and the prison still hasn’t taken
the proper precautions to avoid another
I would like to say one last thing before
I close…to all the folks doing time behind
these walls, bear in mind that no matter the
color of your skin, what hood you are from,
what gender/sexual orientation you identify with or even what status you carry, we
are all in this pit together.
You don’t have to like each other or
strive toward becoming social butterflies
but there is a time and place for everything
and right now, when we are facing a pandemic that has already taken over 100,000
lives in only a few months, and when we
are dealing with a fascist government that
no longer even pretends to care about the
people, in these times we need to be working together toward either bringing about
real changes inside these prisons (reformist) or toward dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex from inside out (revolutionary)… Times are a changin’ folks. Let’s see
if we can keep up. ♥
In Solidarity
Chris Gonzalez

“HEALS Act” Fails to Address
the Plight of Incarcerated
People, Countering Efforts to
Eradicate the Virus


n response to Senate Republicans unveiling their one trillion dollar stimulus
package, the “HEALS Act” - which
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
has said will likely represent lawmakers’
last major legislative response to the pandemic – Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs for the Drug Policy
Alliance (DPA), released the following
“The Senate’s latest proposal is woefully inadequate and fails to address the plight
of incarcerated people, which as the nation has become all too familiar with, have
borne the brunt of this crisis without the
same protections the rest of us enjoy – such
as basic sanitation and the ability to social
distance. And as we warned, the result has
been devastating and growing more dire by
the second with more than 100,000 incarcerated people having been infected and at
least 802 incarcerated individuals and correctional officers dead.
Not only is Senate Republicans’ negligence grotesquely inhumane to those behind bars, but it also puts the lives of others
in our communities at risk, as staff spread
the virus beyond these facilities’ walls and
infections overwhelm hospitals. It is inconceivable how legislators imagine defeating
COVID-19 in the United States without
providing relief to one of the most at-risk
As Congressional leaders head into negotiations, House leadership must stand
firm in supporting the decarceration provisions in the HEROES Act—which includes
measures to release certain incarcerated
individuals from federal custody into community supervision and provides incentives
to states and localities to reduce their jail
and prison populations and provides critical reentry funding.”
To help incarcerated people and other
vulnerable populations, we urge Congressional Leadership to incorporate recommendations from the Justice Roundtable
COVID-19 priorities and DPA's COVID-19 policy priorities in the next COVID-19 stimulus measure. ♥

WHAT: Hunger Strike at EOCI
WHERE: Eastern Oregon
Correctional Institute, 2500
Westgate Pendleton, OR, 97801
WHEN: Monday August 17, 2020


n Monday August 17, 2020, a
multi-racial group of prisoners
housed in solitary confinement at
EOCI are going on hunger strike!
Their Demands
1. Immediate Transfer of Steven Corbett SID#12786124 to a hospital that can
provide him with the lifesaving medical
care he needs.
Steven Corbett has Crohn’s Disease and
has recently been having seizures causing
him to fall & hurt himself and for his intestines are coming out of his body. Other men
in solitary have been watching him get hurt
and believe he is dying, while the nurses
assert that “he is faking it”. One of the men
in solitary, who knows he is not faking it,
responded, “If he’s so messed up that he
would fake seizures than he still shouldn’t
be here because he needs mental health
treatment”. The men that are watching him
die refuse to stand by and do nothing so
they initiated this hunger strike.
2. Allow the purchase of basic hygiene
and cleaning supplies upon arrival to
When people are transferred to solitary
all of their items are stored separate from
them. They are given one bar of soap and
baking soda. They have to use baking soda
to brush their teeth and have to make that
one bar of soap last a month until they are
then able to order limited hygiene supplies
like toothpaste, more soap, deodorant and
cleaning supplies. This is dehumanizing
and given the outbreak of COVID19 at
EOCI is life threatening.
3. Immediate release of everyone who
has been placed in solitary confinement
for a non-violent rule violation and a
permanent end to the use of solitary confinement for all non-violent rule violations.
Solitary confinement is torture. The emotional and psychological effects of solitary
confinement are detrimental to our loved
ones. These effects are well documented.
Torture is never acceptable but unfortunately due to the volatile power/discretion
Prison Covid News

the DOC is given at EOCI many people
have been placed in solitary confinement
for non-violent rules violations. While
some of the men on this strike will not benefit from this demand, they believe it is important to address the harm being caused to
their peers.
4. One call a week for all people in solitary confinement, and an immediate end
to the “green card” system which allows
correctional officers to arbitrarily deny
communication to loved ones on the outside.
Finally, these men are demanding the
ability to communicate once a week with
their loved ones on the outside. As it stands
when a person is sent to solitary confinement at EOCI they are unable to communicate with their loved ones for 30 days. After
30 days they can “earn” 10-minute phone
calls once a week but CO’s arbitrarily deny
them phone calls with no process for appeal. Based on all the abuse and neglect
that occurs in prisons, it is imperative that
our loved ones inside can call us and tell us
what is going on.
When we, as family members, call the
prison we are given incomplete information and we are lied to. The only way we
really know what is going on inside is to be
able to talk to our loved ones on the phone.
When our loved ones write us letters detailing abuse those letters are frequently
“lost”. Another man died in DOC’S custody at SRCI on August 12, 2020 due to
COVID19. Did his cellmates have to watch
as he slowly died unable to call for help.
With the crisis of COVID in the prisons we
need to be able to hear from our loved ones.
I expect the prison to lie and say, “nobody is on hunger strike”. The first day
they will be “bending the truth”, as they
don’t consider it a “hunger strike” until
our loved ones have refused three meals
in a row. After that they still may lie and
say nobody is on hunger strike but I know
my loved one and he will be on strike until
these demands are met.
I will know the strike is over when he is
able to call again.
They are putting their bodies, their health
and safety on the line and they are calling
us on the outside to support them by calling
in to the Superintendent, the Director and
the Governor. ♥
Take Action Now!
Call and support these demands!
Don’t let DOC abuse and kill our loved
Volume 1, Number 6

EOCI Superintendent
Ron Miles
(541) 276-0700
Executive Assist. to Director of DOC
Jessica Freeburn
(503) 945-0978
DOC Director Colette Peters
(503) 945 0927
Governor Kate brown
(503) 378 4582, press 3 & leave a message

4th Oregon prison inmate dies of
The Oregon Department of Corrections
said Wednesday a fourth inmate in their
custody has died from COVID-19 during
the pandemic. The inmate was serving their
sentence at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, the DOC said.
With 811 coronavirus cases in Oregon prisons, Gov. Brown considers
new round of inmate commutations
With 811 coronavirus cases among Oregon prison staff and inmates, Gov. Kate
Brown is considering another round of
commutations to protect medically vulnerable inmates and those nearing their
release dates. In a letter to corrections Director Colette Peter, Brown requested a list
of inmates who are medically vulnerable or
within two months of their release.
2 more Florida inmates die from
COVID-19 complications
Two more Florida inmates have died
from complications of COVID-19, bringing the coronavirus death toll among prisoners to 88, according to a report released

by state corrections officials. The latest report showed that an additional 44 inmates
and 30 corrections workers tested positive for the highly contagious coronavirus,
which causes the respiratory illness known
as COVID-19, since Tuesday. As of midWednesday, 15,445 inmates and 2,496 corrections workers have been diagnosed with
And the beat goes on....
As of August 28th, 2020, more than
108,000 prisoners have tested positive for
COVID-19, an increase of five percent
over last week’s tally. At least 928 prisoners and 72 prison employees across the
country have died of coronavirus-related
causes. Over 24,000 employees have tested

Today's top 9 prison
virus headlines
August 28th. Here are some of
today's headlines from news
stories about the Coronavirus in
U.S. prisons:
1. The growing litigation battle over
COVID-19 in the nation’s prisons
2. More than a quarter of inmates at
Green Bay Prison test positive for
3. Officials: Pa. inmates illegally received coronavirus unemployment
4. More than half of inmates at Muskegon prison positive for Covid
5. 688 new Kentucky COVID-19
cases and 10 deaths
6. Vermont inmates in Mississippi testing positive for Covid-19
climbs to 84%
7. Feds and state authorities charge
33, including inmates, with COVID
benefit fraud
8. Mock-graveyard at capitol created
to demonstrate inmate deaths from
9. Prisoners continued being sent to
laundry job after co-workers tested
positive for COVID-19
If you have outside people, links to
any of the above stories can be found on
the Prison Covid website.

[What follows in only a small fraction of
the available Corona Virus prison-related
news from the bourgeois media. We want
stories from the inside too. You can send
news to our mailing address, or by way of
J-Pay to Note,
we cannot help you with your legal problems so don't ask.]
The numbers keep climbing
As of August 14, 2020: Another 10 percent increase in COVID-19 cases behind
bars as total tally nears 100,000. Coronavirus infections continue to spread at a rapid
pace in federal and state prisons across the
country. There are over 18,000 cases in
Texas, nearly 13,000 in Florida, and roughly the same number in federal prisons. At
least 847 prisoners have died of the virus,
an increase of five percent over last week.
More than 21,000 prison staff also have
tested positive but many states don’t test.
The Coronavirus pipeline
In what critics call a “detention-to-deportation” pipeline, federal immigration
officials have deported hundreds of Guatemalans infected with COVID-19 back
to their native country. U.S. deportations
of migrants have exported COVID-19 to
Guatemala and prompted fear, chaos, and a
collapse of already fragile health services.
‘Con Air’ is spreading COVID-19 all
over the federal prison system
U.S. Marshals are transporting prisoners
without testing them for coronavirus. Federal prisoners are being shipped around the
U.S. by plane, van, and bus with no way to
know if they are carrying the virus, and exposing other prisoners, staff, and possibly
the public along the way.
Inmate COVID-19 cases at Baker
Correctional jump from 20 to 561 in
a week

561 inmates and 25 staff members at the
facility in Sanderson had tested positive for
the coronavirus, with 294 pending inmate
tests, according to the Florida Department
of Corrections. In comparison, a week ago,
20 inmates and 17 staff members had tested
Families of prisoners plead for DOC
to release inmates after COVID-19
Families and loved ones of inmates in
Washington state prisons are demanding
that Gov. Jay Inslee and Department of
Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair release more inmates from DOC facilities to
prevent them for contracting COVID-19.
Many family members of prisoners say inmates tell them prison guards do not wear
masks while on duty and they fear they will
bring COVID-19 into the prisons, resulting
in prisoners getting sick and dying.
Virginia rape suspect allegedly
killed his accuser after being
released from jail due to
A man charged with rape is now accused
of murdering his accuser after he was released from prison over coronavirus concerns, The Washington Post reports.
Nearly 11,000 Florida inmates hit by
With a major increase in infections reported Friday, nearly 11,000 state prison
inmates have tested positive for COVID-19
and 63 have died, according to the Florida
Department of Corrections.
People released from Missouri
prisons during pandemic face added challenges
For people released from prison or jail,
returning to their communities is a challenge in the best of times. Often, employers
don’t want to hire them. A criminal record

makes it hard to find housing. Many people
have lost touch with family members. The
coronavirus pandemic has magnified these
challenges. Now, jobs are more scarce, and
people are isolated.
Bureau of Prisons spends nearly $3
million on UV sanitizing machines
The Bureau of Prisons has spent almost
$3 million dollars on ultraviolet sanitizing devices to combat COVID-19 at 122
federal prisons. The contract, which was
obtained by ABC News says that GM Hill
Engineering is providing the BOP with ultraviolet sanitizing gates -- even though the
World Health Organization says UV light
technologies should not be used on human
beings and there is no definitive scientific
research on the use of UV light to protect
against COVID-19.
2 dead at Marion federal prison
during COVID-19 surge despite
restrictive conditions
A second coronavirus-related death following a weekend surge of positive COVID-19 cases at the Marion federal prison
has inmates with medical conditions worried about their health in a prison that is not
allowing them to distance, family members
and inmates told the Tribune.
Inside the federal prison where
three out of every four inmates have
tested positive for coronavirus
As coronavirus has spread rapidly
through prisons and jails around the country in recent months, the Texas lockup
where Giannetta spent his last days has
emerged as the hardest-hit federal prison in
the United States. More than 1,300 of the
roughly 1,750 prisoners at FCI Seagoville
prison and camp have tested positive for
the virus, according to data from the federal
Bureau of Prisons -- a stunning three out of
every four inmates. So far, three inmates at
the prison, including Giannetta, have died
from Covid-19.
Prison Covid News

COVID cases climb in Ohio prisons,
worrying families and those
employed to serve prisoners
Conditions in Ohio's pandemic-stricken
prisons are helping ensure the spread of
COVID-19 rather than stop it, putting entire communities at greater risk, according
to data crunchers, inmate advocates and
prison workers throughout the state. Ohio's
prisons have a 9% rate of infection, compared with less than 1% for the rest of the
population, according to data released by
the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and
Correction and analyzed by the UCLA COVID-19 Behind Bars.
U.S. Supreme Court blocks
mandate requiring better
coronavirus protections for Orange
County inmates
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday,
Aug. 5, blocked a lower court order that the
Orange County jail system practice social
distancing, distribute hand sanitizer and
keep the facilities clean to avoid the spread
of COVID-19. Justices voted 5-4 to stay the
earlier order issued by U.S. District Judge
Jesus G. Bernal against Orange County
Sheriff Don Barnes. The sheriff asked for
an emergency appeal after Bernal ruled in
May that Barnes had been inconsistent in
following federal guidelines to protect jail
inmates from the spread of coronavirus.
Governor signs executive order requiring COVID-19 testing in prisons
and jails
Governor Whitmer signed a revised executive order on jails and prisons Saturday
that requires adoption of testing protocols
for Michigan Department of Corrections
facilities, and requires that jails adopt
comparable protocols in order to transfer
prisons to state facilities, according to the
Michigan Executive Office of the Governor. “Testing is at the very center of any
strategy to keep prison and jail populations
safe,” said Governor Whitmer.
com/2020/08/15/governor-whitmer-signsVolume 1, Number 6

Baltimore City jail sees its largest
jump in coronavirus cases among
staff and inmates in four months
The Baltimore City Central Booking and
Intake Center has confirmed 55 new cases
of coronavirus — the largest weekly increase at the facility since April, according
to numbers from the Maryland Department
of Health. The figures include 30 new cases
among corrections staff and 15 among inmates at Central Booking in the past week,
according to data released by the state.
DeSantis’ response to COVID-19
spread in state prisons still
In the state prisons, nearly 14,271 inmates and 2,185 staffers have reportedly
tested positive for COVID-19. That’s up
from “1,600 cases in 13 ‘hot spot’ facilities” just six weeks ago. To date, 75 inmates have died from the virus, including
at least 14 who were eligible for parole, as
of August 13th.
COVID-19 Cases Erupt At Oahu Correctional Facility — 70 More
Inmates, 7 guards Test Positive
Of 110 jail inmates who were tested for
COVID-19 earlier this week at the Oahu
Community Correctional Center, 70 turned
out to have the disease in exactly the kind
of outbreak inside correctional facilities
that advocates have feared. A statement
released Thursday morning by the state
Department of Public Safety revealed that
seven additional adult correctional officers
also tested positive, bringing the totals to
86 inmates and 14 staff members who have
tested positive at the state’s jail so far.
Hawaii Supreme Court orders Oahu
Correctional Facility inmate release
due to COVID-19
Some Hawaii prisoners and jail inmates
will be released early due to COVID-19
risks, starting Wednesday. The Hawaii Su-

preme Court released its legal order Sunday evening, addressing inmates at Oahu
Community Correctional Facility. It cited
the unrest at OCCC in its order. Anyone let
out early will have to check back in with
the court next February.
Faulty thermometers, untrained
screeners may have helped COVID-19 infiltrate prisons
Vague testing guidelines, faulty thermometers and inadequate staff training may
have contributed to the COVID-19 outbreak in California prisons that has killed
at least 54 inmates and sickened more than
9,500 others, the state’s Office of Inspector
General reported.
As the coronavirus rages in prisons, ethical issues of crime and
punishment now more compelling
New Jersey’s correctional facilities have
been hit particularly hard. With 29 deaths
for every 100,000 inmates, they have the
highest COVID-19-related death rate in the
As Covid-19 cases in prisons climb,
data on race remain largely obscured
By mid-August, jails, prisons, and other
detention centers accounted for all of the
top 10 Covid-19 clusters in the country.
This week, the number of Covid-19 deaths
among inmates and correctional officers
passed 1,000, with more than 160,000 infected. But as Covid-19 cases among incarcerated people continue to climb, the
racial makeup of those cases has remained
obscured, despite the fact that the groups
most affected by Covid-19 — people of
color, and in particular, Black people —
have also been disproportionately incarcerated.
COVID-19 testing approach in Mississippi prisons ‘inadequate and
Virus News ............. Continued on page 10

[Editors Note: Letters are edited for
length, spelling, and some punctuation errors. You can send your letters, articles, or
opinions to Prison Covid, PO Box 48064,
Burien, WA 98148, or reach us through JPay at]
Want's Documents
Great newsletter. I'm dismayed though
about the demands for the Walla Walla
hunger strike. had I known porn was one of
the demands I would not have participated.
For years I have argued a strike for Pell
grants, removal of the PRA, and abolition
of the 13th amendment, return of minimum
wage jobs. I only added the food when it
appeared from the first Walla Walla hunger strike that it was something a majority
of the population would support, hopping
they would expand their energies to the
other demands. I would note that I did not
eat for a week. it is not the first time and
it is in my record I have gone 30 days or
more. DOC policy 620.100(I)(A) mandates
monitoring, encouraging to eat and regular
medical checkups. None of that happened.
I'm very appreciative of the "To Members Of The Judiciary And The Legal Community" information. That will help me
with my current project. Where do I write
to obtain a copy of the letter? Also, where
do I write to get a copy of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights?
It is getting a lot harder to find information these days. Newspapers are so expensive very few prisoners get them anymore.
they are still available in most prison libraries, but they have made it very difficult to
even get there and they have all been closed
due to Covid. here when its open you have
to sign up (not a problem) then you have to
skip lunch because that is when they call it,
you have to go through four check points,
three metal detectors, two pat searches and
a host of guards with bad attitudes for a
very small library at an hour every other
week. You used to be able to get copies of
information through the library (which is
run and paid by the state library) but in the
last few years they have been telling them
we need to go through public records to get
A shout out to Bryan Mac Donald. Retaliation, isolation, for asserting your rights
and not giving in takes a lot of mental fortitude. Though I am now at the belief litiga6

tion is not the means to the end, it is still
pushing forward. Personally, for pre-trial
I believe all should represent themselves
and demand their speedy trial. Public defense has turned into (or maybe it always
was) shut up and take the deal. The few
who want to represent detainees are so
overwhelmed by case numbers they could
not provide quality representation. As for
county jail or even prison Covid response/
issues I firmly believe collective refusal to
work is the most powerful means of change
we possess.
The latest report from here, still no law
clerk, and on 7/14/20 at about 7:00 pm a
guy in Rainier B Mod hit the cell call button and notified staff he felt feverish, had a
headache, and breathing problems. he was
told to sign up for sick call, which he did.
as of 7/18/20 no one has responded. protocol was immediate isolation for 14 days.
As for the proposed budget cuts, DOC
should get rid of community custody. They
paid for a study years ago that found community custody had no effect on public
safety or reduced recidivism. They should
also give every non-life LWOP 1/3 off
EVERYONE and cut lose all that are 12
months to ERD. For those they need to provide some adequate transition.
Name withheld, WSP
[Editor's Note: We are too small and too
busy to provide the documents you seek.
They can be obtained either from the state
Supreme Court or the United Nations, the
address of which is in your law library.]
Need high-powered lawyers
If you don’t get some high-powered attorneys to advocate on our side for us, then
guess we are all fucked, right? Your newsletter does me no justice, right? It’s been
like this for months. People with money
can buy their way out. Me, I have no money. I guess I’m condemned, right? So be it.
This Corona virus does damage. I guess
what ever happens, happens! Stop sending
me your newsletter for it reminds me of the
painful journey that led me here.
Name withheld, Monroe
[Ed’s Response: Well, here you go, another prisoner looking for someone else,
this time some outside lawyers, to solve
what is a collective problem. If you are
looking outside for help, rather than inside,
you’re going to continue playing the role of
helpless victim, rather than the more positive role of active agent for constructive
change. There are no individual solutions.]



Facemask Issues
I am a prisoner at the Washington State Penitentiary. I was
a Law Library Clerk here at the
South Complex Building until
June 23, 2020 when I had to quit
because staff does not follow
face covering mandates issued
by management.
I explained what happen to
my supervisor when checking
in that a officer came up to me
and stood real close to me with no mask
on and began talking to me. I believe this
was done on purpose because of an event
that happen regarding officers not wearing masks and, in some cases, not wearing
masks while taking temperatures on June
20, 2020. Where I had asked the officers if
it was optional mask day today or something and the officer said you can go back
to your unit. So when I explained to my supervisor that I was going for surgery soon
and to protect my health I needed to quit
until staff start wearing their mask that are
required for the safety of the incarcerated I
was infracted for not programing which is
a major infraction .
I wrote the grievance coordinator after
each event with a kite back saying they
sent my letters to administration. Capt.
Windows of the institution put out a memo
to all staff, to wear their masks twice, once
on the week of June 21, 2020 after my first
letter and again on the week of June 28 ,
2020 after an additional letter was sent to
report staff not giving a shit about their directives .
After getting an infraction for my failure
to report to work to protect myself with several advance letters as to what is occurring
to the Superintendent Holbrook of which
I asked for his intervention into this injustice and the infraction.! am put through the
ringer of hearings, loss of work/job rather
than fixing the problem and investigating
why the officers are not wearing masks
around inmates and in buildings . They just
don' t respond, and he ignored my letter.
On July 20, 2020 I was taken out of the
facility to a post operation exam of the surgery/health condition in question, and my
advanced age with lung problems an officer
does my temperature check with no mask
on just before I leave the facility and go
into a hospital setting.
Report this,
Joel Zellmer #343003
Prison Covid News

R-Units Terrible
I am an inmate at the Shelton R-Units
and got a hold of your newsletter, Prison
Covid, and I like it very much. You guys
write the news of what’s going on, the
truth, and that’s what it’s all about. Staff
tells us lies every day about the outside and
that’s not right. The R-Units treat us like
shit. It’s unsafe in here. There’s no safe haven. And yes, the guards do bring the virus
in here. There are three people crammed
into a cell designed for one. Please send me
anything you have on the Covid problem
and on early release.
Name Withheld, Shelton
A Note From PC
First, please understand that I am accountable for my actions. Both for demoting in custody, as well as the crimes I committed which brought me to prison. I am so
sorry for the crimes I did against my victims, and I can never express that enough. I
was wrong and hurt people, which is on my
mind each day.
I reside in what's called ''safe harbor''.
Essentially, D Unit is separated from the
general population. This is because men
who don't participate in ''prison politics''
or have ''dropped out'' from their Security
Threat Groups, have a need to be separated
from the ''main line'' inmates. I refer to this
place as protective custody. I myself made
a choice to dis-affiliate from my STG, and
now have a target on me. Hence, I've given
myself a chance to focus on my loved ones,
and better myself to the best of my ability.
If you're not opposed, I'd like to share
some of my experiences during the pandemic.
We have a gym located within this unit.
This is currently the area we're allowed to
go mon-fri for recreation. Handball is the
only sport allowed to be played, but men
are allowed to work out around the court.
Connected to it, is a room with cable
weights. Most systems are separated by
feet. Fresh air comes in through grated
windows lining the back wall. Social distancing would be easily implemented, by
caution tape on the machines that are to
close to one another.
It boggles my brain, wondering why
we're only allowed in the area without fresh
air? Strange, but it's just how it is I guess.
I wanted to get in the loop with any info
you can help me get about Covid and the
prison system. also I have some input and
have made a lot of observations dealing
with the inner working of prison and have
Volume 1, Number 6

made complaints and even went thru the
grievance process regarding overcrowding
issues that put capacity above what its legally supposed to be.
Name and location withheld
We're OK So Far
In regards to covid...I am here now at
TRU. It seems that in this particular institution we have some how avoided in
mass break outs. I believe that it will happen though because some of the protocols
that are supposed to be in place routinely
are broken. For example, we once were
allowed to go from pod to pod to tutor in
what is called the conference rooms. Each
tier has them. Since covid that has been
banned, no cross tier visits at all. But when
we get new support staff they allow men
to go to other pods to use the conference
rooms, the phones ect... A lot of people half
ass mask wearing and in this environment
it is near impossible to socially distance.
With that said, we all seem to be healthy
right now. I know our C.U.S. is diligent in
keeping people on point and they hand out
soap and new masks on a regular. We seem
to be OK for now.
Name withheld, TRU
Thirteenth Amendment Warrior
It is an honour to have my voice amplified along with my fellow Thirteenth
Amendment citizens under the unjust authority of the WADOC. Though I have not
had to deal with any medical conditions
myself, I see many others who are dealing with really bad stuff, such as untreated
broken ankles, eye surgeries denied, which
result in blindness in at least three prisoners I know in here. I am doing my best sir,
to fight against these people. I have written a book called "Unlawfully Restrained",
which is my experience of being housed on
Death Row at the Penitentiary in 2018-19.
My book was rejected by the criminals running the mail room here, and has since been
banned state wide. There are many copies
sitting rejected in the mail room here of
prisoners who ordered the book.
I do my best to help my fellow Thirteenth
Amendment citizens fight against the corruption and atrocious medical treatment
you speak of. You can meet me anytime,
and I have recently written up a proposal/
petition to have our hot breakfast put back
into place, as the Correctional Industries
are denying us what has already been paid
by taxpayers to provide.
Name withheld, WSP

The Compassionate Captors
"She didn’t deserve to die there.” Saferia
Johnson, 36, a mother suffering from asthma, asked the warden at her low-security
Florida prison for a “compassionate release” to avoid COVID-19. He denied the
request. Not long later Johnson died at a
hospital, infected with the virus.
Voting Rights for Ex-Cons
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed
an executive order that restores voting
rights to perhaps as many as 60,000 people
with felony convictions living in the state.
Iowa had been the last state to categorically
deny such rights to the formerly incarcerated.
Prison Voters?
A survey of 8,266 prisoners by Slate and
The Marshall Project found that convicts’
political views cannot be easily pigeonholed. Of White respondents, 36% identified as Republicans, 30% Independent, and
18% Democrats. Only 11% of Black respondents identified as Republicans, while
29% identified as Independent and 45% as
For fear of reprisals
Aug. 18, 7:30 am WSP: Unit pill line.
The lady C/O no mask, eating a banana,
standing about 3 feet away checking each
persons mouth for cheeking pills and talking directly to them while they have their
mouths wide open. Nobody said anything
for fear of reprisal.
Community members expose
harmful, racist COVID-19 response
in Washington prisons.
Families of incarcerated people, advocates, and community organizers held a
press conference Aug. 19th to shine a light
on the intersecting crises of racism and
COVID-19 in Washington State prisons.
The press conference, organized by Seattle
COVID-19 Mutual Aid and Columbia Legal Services, denounced the Department of
Corrections’ (DOC) handling of the pandemic, saying its response has been inadequate, negligent, and harmful.

How COVID-19-Virus Has Negatively Impacted Prisoners at the Monroe Corrections Complex
By Sister “J.Lee” Sutton.
ashington State’s Prisoners and
Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) employees are
faced with the challenge of an invisible virus, which does not discriminate and does
not care what type of costumes you wear.
COVID-19-Virus will pay you a visit if
you’re not careful. If you ignore medical
professional advice, you may be the next
victim of this virus. Social distancing (as
directed) is a form, and method used to
combat this virus. However, how do you
“socially distance” inside an overcrowded


History Of Covid-19 Virus
In December of 2019, an outbreak of the
respiratory disease associated with a novel
coronavirus (new virus) was reported in the
city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of the
People’s Republic of China. Unfortunately,
this virus has spread worldwide, some say
due to a failure by officials to make immediate reports to the World Health Organization (W.H.O). Some say the W.H.O. knew
about it early-on and had failed to pass the
information forward to the World so that
the rest of the World could protect itself.
No matter who is to blame, WE all must
face this crisis together.
On March 11, 2020, the W.H.O. declared
COVID-19 a PANDEMIC. By this time, it
had already spread well-beyond the borders of China due to international travel.
The first reported death of COVID-19, in
this country, was dated February 2020. According to experts, the first reported positive test and eventual death were registered
in Washington State. Our own backyard.
Thank you, leaders.
Since then, the number of positive cases
and relative deaths have been on the rise.
This is expected to continue for some time
until we can flatten the curve, as they say.
(See, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Report # 03, dated on: April 2020.
This author has a copy for you if requested
through Ed Mead).
Disturbance At WSRU - Minimum
On April 08, 2020, at the “camp-facility”
outside the main Reformatory walls, in
Monroe, numerous “incarcerated individu8

als” began a disturbance/protest over “living conditions” that they felt were unsafe/
unhealthy. It was reported by the families
of these Prisoners that they were not being
told the truth concerning the extent of the
outbreak within the confines of the building
they were forced to reside in.
Because of the contributing factor of
“overcrowding” within DOC, and the fact
that the obsolete buildings are not designed
for social distancing, human beings incarcerated (no matter what for) were forced to
interact in close quarters with each other,
which caused an “incubator” in the Monroe’s prison.
Due to this obvious and not disputed
fact, numerous human rights organization
and attorneys stepped up to offer their help/
support. One such law firm is Columbia
Legal Services (CLS). (Phone: 206-4641122 & 206-382-3399). Attorney Nick B.
Straley is the lead attorney in the following
civil action: Shyanne Colvin, et al., vs. Jay
Inslee, et al., Wash. State Supreme Court,
Case NO. 98317-8. For context, this litigation began as an “Emergency motion” or
“mandamus action” seeking the immediate
release of some “vulnerable prisoners” at
WSRU and at the Washington Corrections
Center for female prisoners. (Purdy).
This case generated much media attention, especially when local T.V.W. channel
began broadcasting the live oral arguments
via teleconference. Numerous human beings at WSRU had the opportunity to watch
these proceedings in the high Court. Especially, your well-known “jailhouse lawyers,” commonly known as “writ-writers.”
This broadcast happened on April 23, 2020.
After the high Court heard arguments from
both sides, the Court declined to grant the

relief requested.
This Order from the high Court was decided the same day as the T.V.W. broadcast/
oral argument hearing. The Court’s Order
found that, “on the record presented, Petitioners (the prisoners) have not shown that
the respondent’s (State’s) actions constitute
deliberate indifference to the COVID-19
risk at DOC facilities” and that “Petitioners
have not shown that Respondents are CURRENTLY failing to perform a mandatory,
nondiscriminatory duty in addressing the
COVID-19 risk at [DOC] facilities.” However, this Order did not terminate review.
See letter from Deputy Clerk, dated: May
08, 2020.
This case is still active, and CLS is working hard at finding a way to have the Court
Order more releases from prison, or to
move that the Governor and Secretary of
DOC do more to release humans from the
confines of prison.
With all the publicity surrounding this
topic and due to the immense amount of
litigation going around this county concerning the COVID-19 Virus, this author
wanted to speak to a person directly impacted by what DOC has either done or
not done in response to this virus outbreak
within the confines of WSRU. This person
is a well-known “jailhouse lawyer” & this
person’s father is on DOC’s Family Counsel, along with this person being connected
and in touch with numerous outside organization and prison abolishment groups. This
is person is J. T.
Interview With Julian Tarver (J.T.)
J. Lee: Greetings J. T.. Thank you for
taking your time to be interviewed today.
As you know, this COVID-19-Virus is a
danger to us all. From your perspective,
how has DOC handled it?
J.T.: Not very well. DOC was late in
its prevention methods and DOC officials
brought the virus to work with them. This,
unfortunately, cause d some of “US” to get
sick. Some lost their lives over this.
J .Lee: Your speaking about DOC employee lives or the lives of incarcerated
J.T.: Both. DOC employees brought it
inside the Prison. This exposed “US” to
the virus and some of “US” got sick, and
some of “US” lost our lives. Also, it has
Prison Covid News

been said that a DOC employee also lost
his life while working for DOC. I believe
this DOC employee contracted the virus
in society, brought it to work with him,
didn’t know he had it, until her was tested.
It turned out to be positive. After exposing
“US” he went into the hospital and died
shortly thereafter.
J Lee: So, DOC places “US” all at risk to
contract it?
J. T.: Absolutely. This cannot be disputed.
J. Lee: With this unfortunate exposure,
how many of “US” at Monroe Prison have
been subjected to pain & suffering?
J.T.: the number is substantial. I work
alongside the Corrections Ombuds office
and I speak to investigators almost every
day. They have reports detailing what has
happened. If you would like copies of these
reports, just phone: E.V. Webb or Joanna
Carns @ 360-664-4749. There is also a
weekly conference call line, at 360-4073831. Passcode=821205. Just give them a
call, and they can assist you.
J. Lee: How have you been coping with
all of this drama?
J.T.: I have a large support team. My father is on fire to make change happen. He
meets with the DOC Family Council every
week over the phone. I have close friends,
such as yourself, that keep me grounded
and focused on positive energy. You help
me stay away from negative influences.
Along with many outside organizations
and human-rights advocates, like “Beyond
These Walls,” I have been able to stay positive while living around a bunch of miserable people.
J. Lee: I suppose then, you are an example for others to follow, as far as how to
cope in this negative environment?
J.T.: Yes, you could say that. Most importantly, I have a desire to help those less
fortunate than me.
J. Lee: Last question for you. If you were
to sum-up what DOC’s response to this
crisis has been, and place it on a scale of
01-10, 01 (of course being terrible), what
would your number on this scale be?
J.T.: My number would be below zero.
J. Lee: Wow! That’s significant. Why so
J.T.: It’s a combination of things. For one,
DOC was late rolling-out its prevention
measures, then DOC failed to begin testing
its employees early on, before they were allowed into the Prison. This contributed to
the employees coming into the facility and
exposing all Prisoners to the virus. Then,
Volume 1, Number 6

it’s been reported that multiple Prisoners,
and DOC employees were getting sick, and
some of them actually lost their lives.
The problems within DOC command
structure seems to be getting worse, not
better. For example, information is not
being passed down properly to line staff.
Also, there seems to be a “lack of communication” between duty stations. Staff
morale is low, due to command staff making their subordinate line staff do “multiple
overtime shifts” per week. DOC employees
are very tired, stressed to the max, & some
of them do not want to come to work.
J. Lee: Wow! So, in your opinion, based
on all the facts (that you have been made
aware of, DOC is in crisis mode, and it cannot seem to manage its Prisons during this
COVID-19 pandemic?
J.T.: Yes! Absolutely! DOC is in real
trouble. DOC is forced to also cut its budget, and furlough workers, due to the crisis.
There does not seem to be a way out of this
mess, unless drastic measures are taken to
protect us all.
In closing: It is surprising to me, that
DOC is allowed to continue to operate,
when it seems clear that DOC is in crisis
mode, and is failing on every level, and in
every department. DOC does not seem to
understand that this virus will continue to
kill Prisoners, unless DOC Secretary Stephen Sinclaiir and Governor Jay Inslee do
more to Order the immediate release of
vulnerable State Prisoners.
Maybe, this State should shut-down all
its Prisons, in order to save lives. Oh. right.
That seems to be wishful thinking. It is noticeably clear to this author that prisoners’
lives do not matter to Governor Inslee or
to Secretary Sinclair. Until Prisoner Lives
Matter, we will never see significant changes made this “correction system.”
Until prisoner lives matter, the pain and
misery we all feel will continue to be unabated. We must ALL WORK TOGETHER to make lasting and real change happen,
from Inside and out. ♥



n addition to the world's highest incarceration rate, the U.S. also has the highest rate of police killings at 968 a year,
The next highest nation is less than 50.
Which brings us to Black Lives Matter
(BLM). When representatives of the ruling
class are renaming streets after your movement, then you know that movement is
doomed to be absorbed into a dead end. See
BLM for what it is, a small step in the right
direction but destined, like Occupy before
it, to fail due to its pervasive liberalism.
What about the backwards whites who
chant, "all lives matter"? Imagine, if you
will, that you are running down the street
to help put out a house that is on fire, and as
you're running a woman standing outside
her home asks where you're going. You say,
"to help put out the house that's on fire.”
She says, "doesn't my house matter?" Well
yes, of course, but it's not on fire! Instead
use the term Prison Lives Matter. That is
the name of a growing movement led by
prisoners. Those who yell all lives matter
are usually supporting the death penalty—
all lives really don’t matter to them.
What about the Democrats, are they any
better? Joe Biden boasted in a speech on
the Senate floor, “The truth is, every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out
of this Congress, every minor crime bill,
has had the name of the Democratic senator from the State of Delaware: Joe Biden.”
That of course includes the Violent Crime
Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
which directly led to the mass incarceration
we see today and the devastation of black
communities. Both political parties represent the interests of the rich, although in
slightly different ways. Socialism, on the
other hand, will represent the interests of
the people, not the rich. Why, because there
won’t be any rich. The means of production, the means of producing wealth, will
be in the hands of the working class.
In last month's issue we reported 10 infections at the Washington State Penitentiary, as of August 23rd, according to the
DOC's Covid website, there are a 119 confirmed cases at that facility, almost a 1,200
percent increase in a month. The figures
we gave last month for Oregon remain
essentially unchanged, probably because
they don't update their Covid website very
often. For example, OSP still has 36 staff
and 143 prisoner positives, the exact same
numbers as last month.
Ed Mead

Virus News ........... Continued from page 5
dangerous,’ lawyer says
Far more inmates inside Mississippi prisons have COVID-19 than are being detected, new reports suggest. “Absent aggressive screening for symptomatic testing or
a widespread testing regime through which
all staff and prisoners are tested, we must
assume the numbers are grossly understated,” said J. Cliff Johnson, director of the
University of Mississippi School of Law.
Florida inmate, prison worker
COVID-19 cases soar
Florida’s prison system recorded more
than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases and two
inmate deaths over the weekend of August 6 and 9th, according to data released
on August 10th by the state Department of
Corrections. The number of prisoners who
had tested positive for COVID-19 climbed
to 12,438, an increase of 1,463 cases since
August 7th. The two inmate deaths brought
the total number of inmates who have died

of COVID-19 to 65. Also, an additional 98
corrections workers tested positive for the
deadly respiratory illness over that weekend. In total, 2,044 corrections workers had
been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of midMonday.
Florida prison corrections officer
and his wife die of coronavirus —
one hour apart
Wayne Rogers and his wife, 61, both contracted COVID-19 earlier last month, and
were sent home to quarantine after a July
12 trip to the emergency room. Their health
declined and they were both admitted to the
hospital July 18. The couple got sicker over
the course of two weeks, according to their
daughter, Tiffany Davis. They died within
an hour of each other on July 30.
Ninth staff member dies of Covid-19
at California Department of

A ninth staff member has died from Covid-19, California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Sunday. The
employee worked at San Quentin State
Prison and was the first staff member at
California's oldest prison to die of the disease, according to the department.
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 24 inmates there, according to the department.
More than 1,000 staff members statewide
are confirmed cases, according to the DOC.
Union calls for removal of Michigan
prisons director over handling of
The union representing Michigan prison
officers called for the removal of Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington, saying it has lost confidence in her
leadership over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prison Covid
PO Box 48064
Burien, WA 98148