That was me then, it’s not what I am now.
When the state prison system is being cheap, it inadvertently encourages inmates to keep on stealing to make ends meet. This is the wrong direction for rehabilitating inmates. No wonder the recidivism rates for non-lifer inmates in California are still very high.
During the COVID-19 pandemic – even now when the majority of inmates have had their vaccination shots – we’re not allowed to play any team sports because of the six-feet-apart guideline.
In early March, I spoke with Isaih Tautalatasi about living through the pandemic inside prison. Tautalatasi, who is a youth offender, has been living in prison for the past decade, serving a 13-year sentence for a carjacking he committed at 17. This past year he contracted COVID-19. He reflected on the fear of getting the virus, living with it and what can be done to prevent it.
So many prisoners from all races want this man dead, especially the Black race. Not only does he have to worry about being targeted and possibly murdered in prison, but the gangs will put a price on his head to deliver him to those who want to take justice in their own hands.