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Original submission by the author

Hello From Texas! Greetings! 

I am writing concerning our COVID-19 pandemic experience. At my current facility, we have been given masks to wear, yet 90% of our guards do not wear theirs inside our dorm. And little by little, they have become so short staffed that guards are working doubles and even triples, falling asleep on duty — sleeping, in our dorm. Neighboring us is a medical hospice dorm needing round the clock care. Even with all of them being on oxygen, last night the nurses went home, and there was no guard to work in that dorm. Our guard was told to go back and forth between dorms, but she came in our dorm, sat down and went to sleep. The news people came this morning, so our officer went and stayed in the medical dorm while they were here. But what the news people don’t know is it left us without an officer, completely unattended, all day. We have been locked in this dorm without any cameras and no way to get an officer’s attention in the event of an emergency or fight. There are females in our dorm that have seizures, wear diapers, or take very strong medications for cancer, hearing voices, etc.

We’ve been so short staffed that we have received “Johnny” sack lunches for breakfast on August 3, 4, 5 because they can not open the Chow Hall. There are not enough officers! And that happens all the time, especially every weekend. We don’t have church or any classes right now. They blame that on “no movement due to Covid-19,” but before that I submitted several “I-60s” (inmate requests to official) requesting services and Bibles, desperately requesting any type of spiritual literature, only to get answers of, “We do not provide that.”

Also, due to COVID-19, there are no volunteers to send donations for indigent hygiene. So I received one sample-size bar of soap, one bottle of shampoo, and a sample-size deodorant to last me four months, until I’m eligible to receive again. But no tooth paste for the next four months (or longer), so I’m brushing with water. Please help me get this information out to the news. I’m writing others, but I don’t know what I’ll get out by luck and what will be blocked. Please help us!

Kelli Wilkerson
Reception Crain R-1
Gatesville, TX

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Kelli Wilkerson is a writer incarcerated in Texas.