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VADOC Puts Inmates At Risk

On approximately November 12, 2020, the entire institution was place on a security lockdown for the purpose of shaking down the facility. This shakedown was being conducted by the DOC Strike Force. My pod was on a complete lockdown until the morning of Sunday November 22, 2020 when to our surprise the Strike Force did not appear. Rather there were at least 20 officers dressed in regular uniforms there to shake us down.

After conducting the shakedown on Sunday, on Monday we we're allowed to take showers and use the phones. At the same time two(2) of the guys in my pod were taken to medical because they were sick and we were given new masks to wear. The guys were never brought back to the pod and we were put on a Code Yellow quarantine. On Tuesday we were allowed pod recreation for top tier/ bottom tier (32 people at a time), but on Wednesday morning I think we were placed on Code Red which requires the floor officer to wear full protective gear while in the pod, and we had to leave out of the pod and go to the recreation yard while the pod was disinfected.

With this Code Red we will now be on lockdown for another 2 weeks to quarantine in addition to the previous 2 week lockdown, and we will have to be tested again (we were tested in October and all tested negative). With this timeline coupled with the fact that no one got sick until after the shakedown, the only explanation for someone testing positive for Covid-19 is that the officers brought it in. I was already skeptical as to why there would even be a full-scale shakedown during a pandemic because they have over 20 officers going from pod to pod and that is a recipe for disaster.

While I cannot accurately say that the 20 officer shakedown is the reason for the positive test, it is clear to see that we were all negative before this shakedown. The sad thing is that this is the Reentry Pod and many of us are going home in the very near future, some within the next 60 days. My release date is July of 2022, and I would like to see it. I plan to file for an early one year release in July of 2021 in accordance with the DOC Covid-19 release plan, but I don't know if I will even make it.

The conduct of the VADOC is a clear threat to public safety and a total disregard for our health and welfare. This is just another example of how much they value our lives, and many of us fear that we may never make it from behind these walls with the monster of Covid-19 living in the environment with us. We were not sentenced to death, but it seems that death may be right around the corner. Let's hope that many more of us don't become sick, because none of us have a death wish, and most of us would like to see our families again.


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