July 31, 2020
Hello my name is Christopher and I am an inmate at the Ada County Jail. I’ve been at the jail since December 3rd, 2019, so I’ve been locked up way before the outbreak of the first wave of the COVID-19 virus. I first heard about it on the news. I remember all the news stations were covering it from CNN, FOX, MSNBC, all the way to local news. One of my very first thoughts was of my wife and her health because she is a Type 2 Diabetic along with high blood pressure and other health issues. Since the COVID-19 virus first started I’ve had several concerns regarding my health while at the Ada County Jail such as what’s going to happen to me? How safe am I? What is going to happen to my wife if she gets the virus?
As far as for information on Covid-19, its been what has been on the news and sometimes it’s hard to get to watch any kind of news because either the other inmates don’t want to find out what’s going on, or the jail staff tell the inmate workers not to put the news on. For the most part any information regarding Covid-19 has either come from the ACLU or from other people on the outside such as families and friends of other inmates.
As of this writing the Ada County Jail has not been conducting Covid-19 tests. If anything, the only thing they do is check people’s temperatures and that is it. Since the virus started the jail hasn’t even tested the inmate population and the jail wants to try to deny that the Covid-19 virus is in the facility. I, along with other inmates, have filed both request with the jail and their so called “medical” staff for access to PPE (hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, disinfectants, etc…) and have been told point blank “No” or “Due to the extreme shortage of supplies these items are not being given to the general inmate population.” Yet, they also want to lie and tell people that they are taking all of the necessary precautions to decrease the risk of exposure inside their facility.
I had a meeting with a member of the “medical staff” by the name Dr. Bradley who said “hand sanitizer is not as good as washing your hands with soap and water and that face masks give a false sense of safety" and he doesn’t recommend the use of masks and/or hand sanitizer. By Dr. Bradley making such said statement, and by him basically saying that the CDC and others don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to world disease pandemics, in fact did discourage me from wanting anything to do with the “medical” services at the jail.
I have heard of there being several cases of the Covid-19 virus at the Ada County Jail in Boise and in fact I believe it was either back in April or May on a Saturday afternoon the jail had to contact an outside company to send someone out to come in my cell block with HAZ-MAT gear to clean a cell that had a suspected case of the virus. Yet, once again the Ada County Jail/Sheriff’s Office wants to sit and try to lie to not just the inmates at the facility but also the general public and say that the Covid-19 virus is not affecting the facility.
I’d like to let it be known that precautions to decrease the risk of exposure is not taking place as the telephones are not being disinfected between the different groups, mops are not being changed daily nor are showers being cleaned between groups. Speaking of the areas inmates are supposed to use to wash their bodies the jail instead of giving inmate workers a place to clean mop buckets, plungers, etc…they are having these items cleaned in the shower area instead which is highly unsanitary and the shower area only gets cleaned once a day between 10:15pm and 10:30pm and that’s it. I’d also like to let it be known that until roughly a week ago officers at the Ada County Jail weren’t wearing masks and I have heard several say that if they didn’t have to wear one they wouldn’t be.
As far as for any changes to policies/guidelines at the facility, I haven’t heard any other than all staff members must wear a mask while on duty and while dealing with the inmate population, though many move around the facility not following this rule. As far as programs being canceled or suspended, there really haven’t been any programs and as far as visitations go, those have all been by video, including legal visits. I don’t feel that Ada County Jail is taking enough precautions to keep everyone safe from the Covid-19 virus. I can honestly say no, I do not and I don’t even feel safe being at this facility and ever since the first wave of the virus I’ve felt and still feel very strongly that people need to do a physical inspection and investigation of the facility.
If you have a loved one who is locked up right now or even if you have never known someone who is or has been locked up, please pray for those who are or have been. And for anyone released or getting released, the first thing to do is get medical test done to check your health because clearly jails/prisons, especially Ada County Jail, doesn’t care about the health and safety of those in their care. I for one will be going to get checked out for both myself and my wife’s safety. Again, all I can say is to pray that those incarcerated make it out and get to go home to their families, alive and healthy. Hopefully all state and federal jails/prisons will in fact do the right thing and release people and shut down facilities to ensure safety during this very scary time and deadly pandemic. That’s my incarcerated Covid-19 pandemic story and I’m grateful to get things made known.
Thank you and God Bless.
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