This is Richard Valdez calling from San Quintin, CA to prisonradio.org. This is an update on the COVID situation in the CDCR and in San Quentin State Prison.
Currently, they’re shutting down visiting in both forms due to a COVID outbreak that is only affecting one building. San Quentin and the CDCR have policies as a de facto way of depriving the inmates contact visits and visits with their families based on COVID cases that are coming in as a result of the guards not adhering to protocols that they’re supposed to be adhering to.
Most of the cases that have been proven to come into this have not come from inmate visiting contact visiting. They’ve come from exposure to guards who come into the facility who have tested positive and who did not adhere to protocol and were not held to account for such violations of that protocol.
Inmates right now are tested three days after contact visiting, and to my knowledge, they have not had a positive case come as a result of contact visiting, yet we are being deprived of visiting. CDCR is utilizing this policy as a de facto way of taking away visits and using COVID precaution has their excuse.
And this needs to change, because they have the ability to test inmates prior to their visits with a rapid test. Just before this new variant hit, amidst the worst variant which was the Delta, we were having contact visiting, and they were utilizing different policies.
But recently, when the new variant came about, they decided to change up, and what they did was they just eliminated visiting, which is something that they already are against us having as it is. But yet they claim that they’re not. But they do everything in their power to deprive people from that, something which they also say is part of the rehabilitative process.
Our families, people who come from long distance, are now suffering the consequences of their actions or inactions, and this needs to be addressed, and we need help.
Those who are able to contact the legislators, contact the head of CDCR, and contact the secretary—and tell them they need to change this policy, because the only thing that it’s doing is allowing those who are violating the COVID restrictions and the COVID policies to get away with anything that they want to while we suffer because of their actions or inactions.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.