To whom it may concern,
I heard about the Coronavirus pandemic in the local news. I wasn’t scared when I heard about it, because it was downplayed. But now, I am concerned about my health because I’m asthmatic and have COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. I have not been provided with any resources or information for how to protect myself from COVID. In the facility, they are only testing a few people suspected of having it.
They have changed some guidelines because of this pandemic. There is segregation from PRC and a whole separate tier of women most susceptible-to women separated from G.P. They have also canceled visitations and religious services which has resulted in a loss of morale.
I want to let the public know that whenever there is suspicion of COVID having been introduced to the facility, the staff locks down certain tiers with no warning. They come in like storm troopers with masks. We are human beings before “inmates” and should be treated as such. IDOC needs to follow what other states have done and release people who have two years or less since IDOC won’t be able to handle COVID.
About the Stories from the Inside story project:
ACLU of Idaho, Black and Pink Boise, and HumanKind have collaboratively reached out to people who are currently incarcerated to share their view of the COVID-19 from inside Idaho jails and prisons. The experiences detailed in the submitted letters and responses are reflective of a prison system that lacks any standard of medical care for inmates and IDOC staff in the face of a global pandemic—even as the number of infected continues to rise. With the authors’ permission, we are publishing these letters here so their stories from the inside can be known.
Prisoners are people — and these are the real experiences they are having on a daily basis. All stories have been shared with written consent.
Black and Pink: Boise is an open family of queer & trans prisoners and "free world" allies who support each other.
Humankind: A Voice from the Inside is an organization committed to providing a voice for those navigating through the criminal justice system. We believe that everyone deserves fair and compassionate support in and outside of incarceration. Humankind envisions a world where individuals involved in the system are treated justly and receive adequate rehabilitation to become productive members of society. We need change, not chains.
The Northwest Abortion Access Fund is an abortion fund serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Trained, compassionate volunteer advocates run our toll-free hotline. We help people pay for their abortion care by sending funding directly to the clinic. We also help people get to and from the clinic and make sure people traveling for care have a safe place to stay.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), a membership organization of over 70 funds across the United States.