So went the first full week of lock down due to COVID-19 concerns. After a difficult start, guys have begun settling in to modified routines. As it stands, we still have no confirmed inmate cases here. It’s in stark contrast to what’s happening elsewhere in the state. I’ve asked myself, Why haven’t we had confirmed cases? What’s so different here than elsewhere?
I think the answer is multi-pronged, the first being that my institution was quick to take action when they discovered one of the contractors came down with COVID-19. Second, I think, is the willingness of guys here to obey the heightened restrictions and rules, and to practice good hand washing and vigilant social distancing. We all wear homemade masks, and with the exception of some early knuckleheads, everyone has settled in to compliance.
Granted the level of bitching between the guys has increased, but that’s to be expected. Convicts are a high energy crowd, and with everyone confined to their housing units with no outlet–yeah, no surprise. Hopefully we’ll be able to return to a bit or normalcy in the coming week or two.
Next week I’m introducing the first incarcerated female guest writer. She’s serving a life sentence in the state of Ohio. We tend to think of incarceration as from a male perspective, but the picture of incarceration is incomplete without consideration of the more than 219,000 women serving prison sentences in the United States. There are 4,500 in OH alone.
These women have children and families of their own, and their needs are unique and pose a set of challenges that are sometimes under served in facilities across the naton. In the coming weeks I will introduce more female writers and essays touching upon life behind bars from the female perspective. Be sure to check in, because it’s rare to hear these voices that are all too often lost in the noise of a male dominated experience.
*If you missed this Monday’s post The Promise of Psychedelics in Incarceration or A Proposed Alternative, with guest essay by Scott Quimby, Ph.D., be sure to take a look. The challenge of guiding offenders toward rehabilitation has been the subject of study for decades. Scott Quimby proposes an effective solution.