Today we hear from Marion, a wife of a man incarcerated at #SanQuentin after she found out her loved one tested positive for COVID-19. On May 30th, the California Dept of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) transferred 121 incarcerated men from California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino to San Quentin State Prison (SQ) . At the time of the transfer, CIM was a known “hot spot” for COVID-19 with over 500 active cases and 15 COVID-related deaths. The men at CIM were tested negative up to 4 weeks prior to the transfer, and upon arrival at SQ, 16 of the transfers tested positive. This led to San Quentin becoming the state’s epicenter for COVID-19. Prior to the transfer there were ZERO cases of Covid19. San Quentin houses a lot of lifers, elderly, and there are currently up to 60 men who have already been found suitable for parole, stuck inside, waiting for the governor’s final approval. A lot of people in society think that what happens in prisons, stays in prison. Consider this: there are 67,000 staff that go in and out of California’s prisons in 8 hour shifts. Prisons are porous. With the rise of COVID-19 cases in California, what happens in SQ could easily affect the surrounding Bay Area medical facilities already nearing capacity as SQ does not have the medical capability for this type of care.
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.