In solidarity, Prison conditions

Covid-19 Update USP Pollock Louisiana

By Keith Malik Washington, IWOC

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers. Today is April 2nd, 2020.

I am delivering my Covid-19 update from inside USP Pollock which is located in Pollock Louisiana, near the city of Alexandria. For those who have been following my updates, you have already confirmed the death of a prisoner housed at our sister facility, FCI Oakdale Louisiana. Our prayers and condolences are extended to the family members and loved ones of our fallen comrade. On April 1st, 2020, I woke up to more restrictive modified operations at USP Pollock, As well as a rumor being circulated of one BoP employee and one prisoner here at USP Pollock suspected of having contracted the Covid-19 virus. Thus far, this is just an inmate rumor. Many I must ask for your help in contacting the complex warden, Chris McConnell. In order to ascertain the validity of this rumor. It wouldn’t be surprising that someone here contracted the virus. BoP employees are allowed to come and go daily, in and out of the  FCC(?) complex at Pollock.

Sisters and Brothers, the number one carriers and transmitters of the coronavirus here at USP Pollock, will be BoP employees. Thus far, all officers are screened before entering the facility, and they are asked to self report any suspected contacts they may have had with high risk persons. We the prisoners at USP Pollock, continue to be subjected to ever increasing restrictions, yet the employees come and go as they please. There are numerous open cells here at USP Pollock, and there are numerous empty units. We propose that officers assigned to the housing units begin to stay here, rather than leave the facility daily. This may sound like a drastic measure, but please understand comrades, drastic times require drastic measures. The state of Louisiana is number two in deaths per capita from the Covid-19 virus. Prisons, by design, are a super confined environment, and once the coronavirus is introduced to the prison population, it will spread like wildfire. As we have seen with FCI Oakdale, death is an inevitable consequence of Covid-19 infections, within the confined federal prison environment. Early on in this report, I mentioned that the BoP has initiated more restrictive modified operations here at USP Pollock. For clarifications sake, let me say that these new restrictive measures are now system wide. Here at USP Pollock, only 8 cells are allowed on that flats at one time. Previously 16 cells were allowed out for two hours a day, in order to allow prisoners access to phones, emails and showers. The cells here at USP Pollock are designed to house two people. In light of these new restrictions, I will only be allowed out of my cell every other day. So my access to the phones, email and shower will be cut in half.

On its face, these new measures are an attempt by the BoP to adhere more closely to CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as limiting the amount of prisoners allowed out of their cells at one time. It is imperative (emphasis added), that I highlight once again, that most of my fellow prisoners here are healthy are(?) risk the Covid-19 from BoP employees and not each other! Please understand this point!

In closing, I report that yesterday on April 1st, 2020 I report that my case manager, Mr. Carter, had me sign my application for Federal halfway house, and the transfer of my primary address to San Francisco, California. I ask all of you, once again, to please contact the Bureau of Prisons, and strongly encourage them to release me to my primary release address, which is the address for the San Francisco Bayview National Black Newspaper. Or, release me to Federal halfway house, as soon as possible. With your support, my transition to free society will be successful. Free world support is so very important! Please continue to stay healthy and practice distancing, but by no means stop being social with one another. Love one another, care one another, Communication rules the nation, comrades. Until my next report, I extend my clenched fist salute and say “Panther Love” to all of my comrades, allies and loved ones.

Solidarity Forever,

This is Comrade Malik, signing off.

 

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