Stories from the Inside: Paul

To whom it may concern,

My name is Paul. I am currently incarcerated with the IDOC at ISCC. Due to the overcrowding, I feel that there are many of us at risk of getting the COVID-19 virus. I am 55 and have asthma and bronchitis. I am here on a possession charge for a line of cocaine. It was so minute that they couldn’t put a weight to it. I plead for a deal of a 1 plus 5 and should have been released September of 2019 but was flopped for a year because I was trying to get a loved one to not overdose on heroin. They said it was harassment, and that individual overdosed and is dead. I don’t believe that I deserve the death penalty and I believe that that’s what’s going to happen. I’m not a bad person and have no record of violence.

COVID-19 entered this facility last week with one [case] and in just 7 days has turned to 8. I’m in a dorm but it’s 3 people to an 8x6 cell. It’s very overcrowded with 70 people, with only 4 toilets and no urinals. The ceiling has multiple leaks and has for the last 6 months I’ve been in this section. We are on lockdown and there is not even enough table for us all to eat at.

I could go on more but am feeling defeated. We can’t even exercise because there is just no room. Again, I don’t feel that the death penalty is just for a nonviolent crime. Thank you.


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.