Editors of APWA I have recently been incarcerated for about 3 years

Manzo

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Hamilton (APWA) 198 College Hill Road Clinton, NY, 13323 Page 1 8/2/20 Hello, Editors of (APWA) I have recently been incarcerated for about 3 years now. I started in reception at (CIM) Chino State Prison in the city of Chino, California. The prison was open in 1944, so it's been some time that this prison has been open. When I arrived there it was in 2018 and it smelled and looked awful. It felt like a condemned place. Right when you arrive in central (entrance) of the institution it didn't look like they renovated anything, wich was a safety hazard. Literally brick rubble was fallin off the walls. When I was put in the entrance holding area, the bars were rusted and you couldn't put your hands on them, because of the bacteria that was on them. They would put 12 inmates to a cage and the cage can only hold 5 to 6 people. Wich made it uncomfortable, and caused a lot of fights and unnecessary assaults. After waitin in those harsh and uncomfortable holding cages they would call inmates to house us. You would get sent to Cypress, Sycamore, or West, depending on your background. Inmates would be separated by Page 2 the crimes they committed and sexual preference. Inmates that are homosexual, sex offenders, dropouts and informants would be housed together, as for the rest you had to be neutral, not informant, non-homosexual and you couldn't be a sex offender. I was housed with the homosexuals, I am a bi-sexual man. When I got to my cell, an inmate was there and he respectfully accepted me. The first 2 weeks was awful, they gave me a mattress that was not in good shape, it was ripped and a lot of the inside was missing, the stains on there were disgusting. I would think with all the money the governor spends on institutions he would start by rebuilding the older institutions, but he didn't and lied to the people of California. As I was doing my time in Chino, the food was awful, for breakfast they would give you 2 boiled eggs, a little oatmeal, 2 pieces of bread, an apple, and a little sausage, and milk. I would put the food as the amount of feeding a 5 year old. This caused a lot of malnutrition for me and a lot of the inmates, this caused more depression and Page 3 hopelessness. About 1 month and a half in Chino a bunch of inmates where committing suicide all survived as far as what I knew. But they all were sent to mental health institutions. The air in the cell was a hazard and I felt sick and I tried to explained to the doctor, but he told me that he has no action in fixing anything that is not medical wich makes no sense, since he knows that the hazards of the prison are getting us sick. As the showers, they had no hot water and the inside of it was unsanitary a lot of bacteria and filth was around us while taking a shower. A lot of the officers were disrespectful and wouldn't take our demands serious, wich cause a lot of anger and depression. They did let us go to store, wich was the only hope we had in their, but inmates that had no money had it the worst since they fed us like 5 year olds, wich is like what they fed you in elementary. I say also that there was a lot of corruption going on in the institution that needed to be adressed. I would also say that Page 4 mental health staff were un-prepared and not trained correctly. The senior citizen inmates had it the worst because of un-trained medical staff, that cause a lot of heart attacks, diabetic shock, and wrongfully medicated situations. It's a shame that the governor would make new prisons and not renovate the old ones, wich not only caused a health hazard to inmates but his working staff also, the (CDCR) representative staff are viewing the institutions and laws backwards. It wont be a surprise that the oldest prisons and Chino would end up crumbling on all of us, for the un-professional views of prison reform and safety. Very sad reality. Thank you (APWA) for letting me express my views, and hopefully it gets published in your work to come. I really did go throuh these events at Chino and as a reality to my life in here I really had no family support or any funds sent to me, but I'm surviving and keeping my spirit up, I would write more if you decide to accept my letters. Have a good one. Sincerely, [redacted]

Author: Manzo

Author Location: California

Date: August 2, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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