Here are a bunch of statements from people held in Wisconsin prisons. We're getting more of these than we can keep up with, and we're trying to get it together into a solid report as quickly as we can. We'll continue to update this post with links to longer statements as more come in. Thanks to Gerard and Lady L from Soul Sessions on WORT for helping collect some of these.
Nate Lindell 303724 Columbia CI ( 1975 ,44)
Harlan Richards 37975 Stanley CI
That's what it's like in Stanley. The daily news tells of increasing deaths from COVID-19 and the thousands of Wisconsin citizens who have tested positive. Yet here we all are, packed shoulder to shoulder with no social distancing whatsoever. I speak to other prisoners and most of them scoff at the pandemic. Do you remember the great tsunami back in 2008 or 2010 (I don't remember the exact year)? Hundreds of thousands of people died - many of them were standing on beaches looking out to sea wondering where all the water went. Then a 50 foot-tall wave came and washed them all away. That's what I see in Stanley: Prisoners standing on a metaphorical beach waiting for the COVID-19 tsunami to come and wipe them out.
Three full essays:
Jeffery Polar 375899 Green Bay CI( 2985, 34 NA)
Green Bay CI did a bunch of moving inmates around to make room for people who get sick and need to be quarantined...
They had a big meeting with all the inmates with cpap machines. They told us that we are considered "high risk" to contract the virus due to our cpap machines so if we wanted to keep our machines we would have to relocate to the treatment center. A lot of inmates gave up their machines to avoid being on the same unit as the coronavirus quarantined inmates.
What I don't understand is if we are "high risk" why would the administration put us on the same floor as the people with coronavirus? This policy just doesn't make any sense. We are being forced to either suffer sleep apnea and possibily die in our sleep just to avoid being near coronavirus infected inmates or keep our machines and live within feet of infected inmates.
Read full message and more from Jeffery here: http://www.prisonforum.org/2020/04/jeffery-polar-coronavirus-and-people.html
Some anonymous letters and excerpts:
...what I'm about to tell you is 100% true. They have put a memo on the institution television channel and they are saying that starting next week they will be running cell hall recreation for each cell hall on a rotating basis. They are telling us that we can't play basketball, but we can shoot the ball, they are telling us we can play cards and board games, and we can work out. Now dig this, if the entire cell hall went to rec there would be approximately 150 people in one common area, let's just say that half the cell hall goes to rec that's 75 people. Now I've been watching the same news that these prison officials have been watching, and I am not a virologist, but I damn sure ain't stupid. Anybody could have this shit and be asymptomatic and give it to everybody at rec without even knowing if they have it, a sneeze or cough and we are all in trouble, if they have it and they touch something and I touch it I'm in trouble. It's bad enough that they are running us to showers fifty people at a time now they are pulling this???
That's all I got, stay safe, stayed true, stay you
Grace be upon you
Evers could do a little more. There are people that have been here more than 10 years, he could get legislation to authorize 75/85% based on institution conduct. Where is his promise he made during his campaign?
ANON at Thompson CC
I think the biggest mistake many people are making in dealing with this pandemic is coming up with short-term solutions to a longterm problem--the social and economic aftermath of this pandemic. Yes, we may be able to flatten the curve by sheltering in place, closing down businesses, social distancing and isolating inmates from the world by restricting staff, family visitation, inmate-to-inmate contact and work release until some imaginary date when things are back to normal. But flattening the curve is not a cure; it will not end the threat of Covid-19 as it lurks outside our many prison gates for an opportunity to enter into its masses and reek havoc. The only hope we have--the only hope the WOULD has at ending this pandemic is a vaccine that kills it. That could take months, even years!
I think we must be realistic; the president thought this pandemic was a democratic hoax and he initially approached it as if it were a common flu. With such leadership it isn't surprising many Americans see the situation we're in as an inconvenience that will end soon. I hope it does, not only for the sake of the many who will die otherwise, but especially for the first responders on the front lines of this war dying and risking their lives to save ours. Surely their sacrifices should be honored by placing their names and photos beside others at Washington's War Memorial was this nightmare ends.
As an inmate, my current conditions reminds me that I am powerless to make any changes that might shield me or any other inmate from a deadly virus. We must rely on the wisdom of the Secretary or Governor, who I honestly believe want to do what is right but are prevented by law from exercising their wishes--at least when it comes to following the lead of other States and releasing inmates. Ironically, the threat Covid-19-presents may trigger the emergency that will allow them legally to release people under SAR, thereby bypassing a legislature unwilling to give up power. What do you think?