Prison Radio
Christopher “Naeem” Trotter

Hello outside world. My name is Christopher Trotter. I’m calling live from inside the belly of the beast at Walbash Valley Correctional Facility. Carlisle, Indiana.

I would like to update everybody on- on the situation with COVID-19 inside the prison. Currently they’re still on lockdown. They’ve been on right down now for a month. The facility hasn’t done any mandatory testing, any contract tracing. I think the facility is implementing what they call a herd policy.

In other words: let prisoners catch COVID, let it run throughout the prison system slowly. Let it kill who it can kill and hope the rest get immune so you can put prisoners back to work. That’s the situation we’re facing right now. And again, I think it’s cruel because myself has been sentenced to death. I’m 58 years old. I’ve been in prison for 40 straight years. Eating prison food, not being able to get the best healthcare.

Trying to keep myself up physically, but over a period of time in prison, 40 years, it weakened not only the immune system, it weak- it weakens the person physically. It weakens the person mentally. So the chances of people my age surviving COVID-19 without the proper healthcare, it is like playing Russian roulette. I work on the grounds crew and I- I cut grass and- and I take out the garbage.

And the other night I was talking to a officer, who had COVID back in March. And he said, “I still [test] positive right today”. I said, “how’s that so?” And he said, “because of the antibodies.” So I tested positive right today. He didn’t have a mask or nothing on. He- he said, it’s a lot of us running around here that have tested positive. And then had COVID, and we have these antibodies and- and I was like, “Wow, okay.”

You know, now the prisoners like, they don’t care no more. They’re tired of wearing the mask. They’re tired of the- the social distancing. And there’s like, let’s let these prisoners get it. They’re not doing temperature checks. And most staff know now that if they run a fever. Well, I take a couple of ibuprofen before I come to work. So therefore, the ibuprofen would lower my fever but- do they give me a temperature check. I won’t have no temperature, but I really do have a temperature. So I can come to work because I don’t have no- few work days. I don’t have no work days, enough, so I have to come to work.

And so this is what’s going on in here. It’s been over a month. It’s lockdown and they not even done any mandatory testing of prisoners—not to mention staff. Not even contact tracing. Yet they want everybody to go to work. In the so-called private industries jobs they have. They want you to go to work. Because if you don’t go to work, they lose money. So this is what’s going on.

And I hope people are concerned if you have a loved one inside a prison. And I ask that people just stay vigilant. People stay vigilant. People stay informed and try to find out what’s going on. And I wish everybody out there the best. I’m looking forward to a new president. Bring down the [inaudible]. Bring down Donald Trump [inaudible].

So hopefully this country can heal. We can appeal to our better angels. We can bring back human decency, we can do the things that need to be done. We can take a new look at the constitution that was founded by our forefathers and do something about it. Because times done changed and a lot of the Constitution is not relevant for the change that’s taking place today.

Again, starting with the Thirteenth Amendment, we need to do away with it. Because it justifies slavery inside prisons. It justifies the exploitation, the oppression of prisoners. And human beings. And there’s nothing that says that the constitution can’t be changed. And we, the people, have that power. We have that power.

Thank you for listening to me. I wish everybody safety. Again, this is Christopher Trotter calling live inside the belly of the beast at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Carlisle, Indiana. Thank you.

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.