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From Jorge: Being Quarantined in Prison

Hi everyone! My co-author Jorge (please buy our book, Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell. All proceeds go to his family!) wanted to update you all about daily life in prison. This is another blog post directly from him. If you want to help his family out financially or write to him, please contact me!

I can't put photos of him or the prison so photo credit Sam C, a student who took some photos to evoke the feeling of prisons in various ways for this series.

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(This is a continuation of a post from earlier this week)

I asked the CO as to why this was happening but all he said was that medical called him and ordered him to do that but he didn't know why. So since he didn't give me the reason why this was happening, I walked to medical, and I asked them why I was getting quarantined. The nurse wrote my name down, then 10 minutes later, another nurse came out, called my name, then he said, "So you're getting quarantined because you're up for transfer. You're going to another prison and because of COVID this is protocol. So you're going to get put on quarantine for two weeks here, then once you get there, you're going to get quarantined for another two weeks.

When I was told this information, I was shocked because they never told us anything about transfers starting anytime soon so all of this was out of left field! I was upset with everything that was going on because for one I had just gotten my job, I barely got in the GED class, and I just got done adapting to this new yard and how the program was run there. 

So I ended up packing everything and moving to the quarantined section, and I wasn't even there two full days when they popped me out, talking about pack your things AGAIN, you're moving to E yard. I was like, "What the hell, I just got moved over here, now I'm getting moved to another yard?" I was really upset now because I was getting moved again and on top of that I'm getting sent back to the yard I was on before I was sent to F yard.

So of course I packed all my things and there I was on my way back to cell living. When I got to E yard and was put in the building I was getting sent to. In my head I was just like, "Man, this is crazy, I'm back over here." It felt weird because I had already gotten used to how level 2 was with all the freedom you're given and the bigger pod you're housed in. When I first got here, I got put in a cell by myself and like I said, I felt weird coming back to this cell living.

So not even a full two days that I'm here, and I get moved AGAIN. It's the third time they're asking me to move so I'm mad now. The CO said I was getting moved in with somebody else because they need to compact everybody, so there I went again moving all my things into a cell with someone else. 

One reason why I was mad was because I got put in a cell by myself at first, so I was I got put in a cell by myself at first, so I was like, "OK, I'm alone at least, so I'll have time for myself to get my mind ready for this transfer. I'll be able to focus on my writing, I'll be able to read in peace, just things like that." But it didn't go like that so I ended up moving in with this other dude. He's pretty cool, I still did what I had to do but sometimes it's nice to have some alone time.

Anyway, this quarantine has been pretty cool otherwise because I have been able to just focus on things I wanted to do like writing and reading but then again it sucks because we've just been stuck in the cell this whole time. They don't let us out for nothing but shower and that's only once a day. 

Other than that, this whole situation kind of sucks because like I said, I had just adapted to the level 2 program, barely had gotten a cool job, and barely got put in a GED class. So all of a sudden having to transfer to another prison out of the blue is stressful because everything I went through on F yard, adapting to that yard and everybody, now I have to start ALL over at another prison. 

I'm not stressed as much as I was at first, because you never know, I'm probably going to have more opportunity at that prison, so I'm looking forward to it. Us at inmates, we get comfortable being at a certain prison, so it's hard when we just have to pack our things and go, but that's how it goes. 

Meanwhile, I'm going to continue doing what I have to do to better myself and get in every group that I
can. And most importantly, I'm going to educate myself. When I get out, I'm going to have my GED, have some college, and hopefully a trade. That's my goal!

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