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Editor’s note: this report is from July 2020.

On July 5, 2020, I filed a grievance with the Oregon Department of Corrections.

The denial of hot food since institutional quarantine started, combined with no outside access to fresh air, sunlight and exercise outside of the cell or unit, lowers my body’s immune system, making my body more susceptible to COVID-19. The director of the Oregon Department of Corrections has established and implemented policy in accordance with CDC guidelines, yet she has failed to consider reasonable or bare-minimum options that could be offered with no additional resources, such as enabling outside access and hot food. This continued condition is harmful to my health and well-being. It is also more restrictive than needed.

I propose the following actions to improve this situation.

  1. Allow time to walk around the courtyard or yard. We could take turns or rotate by unit. 
  2. Have the same inmates who make bag-meals make something hot. 

How is it that barbaric policies and the lack of common sense is followed like a blanket policy?

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.

Edward Pergande is a writer who would like his work to bring to light the wrongs of the prison system. He incarcerated in Oregon.