People incarcerated in Virginia’s prisons, jails, and detention centers speak out about the dangers they face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prisons, jails, and detention centers are known hotbeds for the transmission of COVID-19, and the people trapped inside them during this pandemic face life-threatening danger. Here you can find, in their own words, accounts from those incarcerated and their loved ones across Virginia who are pleading with state and local leadership for swift, bold action to release prisoners and reduce the incarcerated population during this crisis.
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"Jails and prisons on the other hand lean more towards dehumanizing, leaving you in a lost, confused and comatose state of mind."
"Once you cross the door way of jail the humane actions of the staff is left on the other side. Most look at prisoners as property, or like a child in a grown up body."
Corey Mapp - Richmond City Jail
"I was not sentenced to death, and I don’t want to die here"
"But I am afraid I will when the coronavirus comes"
Cynthia - Fluvanna Correctional Center
"I think about the coronavirus often. Specifically, I worry that I will die if I contract it because of my suppressed immune system"
I am not the only individual here who has serious medical problems.
Polly - Fluvanna Correctional Center
"My friend died, and he died even though we had repeatedly notified the building and medical staff."
"We can be better than this. We should be better then this. We must be."
Matthew - Greensville Correctional Center
"I am very afraid for her"
"I really need help with this, anything"
Sheila - Her daughter is in Fluvanna Correctional Center
"I am likely to soon be affected, or even killed"
"Sometimes I feel like I'm here waiting to die. I am immunocompromised, and thus extremely vulnerable to COVID. "
Piper - Fluvanna Correctional Center
"I am extremely vulnerable to every threat this coronavirus poses"
"In a place like this it is impossible to distance ones self from others"
Jason - Pocahontas State
"I know that I’ve been exposed to a staff member who has been confirmed as having COVID-19"
"We’re pretty scared"
Jennifer - Fluvanna Correctional Center
"I wish I had a solution to share as well but I don't"
"So the next best thing I can do is seek to bring awareness to another injustice suffered at the hands of a broken system"
Kenneth - Green Rock
"My biggest fears are I will never see or hug my elderly parents, or my four children who live in other states, never meet my only grandchild"
"People here have died"
Lawrence - Deerfield
"I also am not getting the pain medication prescribed by my cancer doctor. In the last month, the prison has let it run out twice"
"My mom tells me, you need to do your time, but you also should be able to get the treatment you need."
Lori - Fluvanna Correctional Center
"I feel lost, abandoned, and scared of dying in jail from this worldwide pandemic"
"We are in no way able to practice social distancing, nor do we have the proper cleaning supplies or PPEs to stay safe. Please help"
Fred - Riverside Regional Jail
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