Original submission by author.

It has been several months since I have submitted an essay, and I cannot stand to be quiet any longer when I look around Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in Las Vegas, Nev., which has struggled in being consistent on everything. Now COVID has hit, and we inmates all watch in horror as staff and officers spread this virus with their lack of foresight and consistency. 

(Song) 

COVID’s Coming…

COVID’s in the building and guess who brought it in? It’s all these noncompliant NDOC officers that got it to begin. 

(COVID’s coming, COVID’s coming.)

They announced that just one person had it, and now the spreading has begun. The second memo has gone up, and officers of NDOC think it is so much fun.

They joke and play throughout the day and do not know the value of a life; 

COVID is in the building, and we have the NDOC officers to thank, all right.

(COVID’s coming, COVID’s coming.)

According to a memo put out by our warden several weeks ago, all staff were required to wear a mask when dealing with inmates within six feet of them. Staff have struggled with following the direct order from the warden. They are supposed to lead by example but fail to do so on a daily basis. Yet, they still expect us to respect them and comply with what they direct us to do.

The warden also has directed the staff to dispense hand sanitizer, and the staff does this, yet some refuse to wear their masks even as they issue the sanitizers. Even worse, some officers wear a bio-suit but will not put the face mask on when they come into direct contact with us.

The CDC’s recommendation to not touch your face or put your hands in your mouth is insisted upon for those who take medication at pill call. We are told we must do a finger sweep through our mouths, but when we walk away from pill call, we have to pull open a heavy door. That means we indirectly touch the dried saliva of the 200 or so other inmates that were required to do the same thing that each of just did … crazy!

If all the staff complied with their personal protective equipment (PPE), we would not hear of any inmate being put in isolation for the 14 day quarantine. We inmates are truly at the mercy of staff following rules and being consistent for once in their lives.

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.

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Erin Kuhn-Brown

Erin Kuhn-Brown is a writer incarcerated in Nevada.