Photo by Janine Robinson on Unsplash

About two months ago our prison, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, in San Diego, Calif., was put on modified program with restricted group gatherings.

This has been hard on me since I am in a Mental Health Enhanced Outpatient Program (E.O.P.) that usually has me and other inmates going back and forth to at least 10 hours of self help groups per week. But now we are not allowed any indoor groups, only Recreational Yard for an hour.

As of April 8, 2020, we were told of additional restrictions that take away our dayroom. We are allowed phone calls and showers everyday, though.

Even though all of this is stressful it is done for our own safety, staff, and inmates. So if it will keep me from risk of dying from being infected by COVID-19, I will deal with any inconvenience!

They have emptied out a certain number of cells in each building in preparation of someone or multiple inmates showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Hopefully things will go back to normal soon and nobody else has to die.


Shariff Taylor’s letter was dated April 9, 2020.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Shariff Taylor

Shariff Taylor is an African-American transgender writer who is incarcerated in California. Shariff is from Newark, N.J., and is an activist for LGBTQ rights in and out of prison. They identify as gender-fluid. Shariff has been published in the American Prison Writing Archive, a partner of the Prison Journalism Project.