Inmate families continue to express concerns regarding COVID-19 outbreak at HDSP

The following are responses to Lassen News’ previous reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak at High Desert State Prison:

One reader wrote, this article posted on is very alarming to me.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation openly admitted fault for the outbreak back in June of 2020 … By CDCR’s own admission in open and public hearings, it was determined that infected inmates transferred from Chino men institution to San Quentin state prison, created the first outbreak …

As other transfer throughout the states have included High Desert State prison and Pelican Bay, these inmates are transfers from the infected prison of San Quentin State Prison and others that have more than 100 cases. Currently, Corcoran Substance Abuse Facility is also impacted with cases rising at an alarming rate.

Additional transfers were continued and have not stopped, even after the CDCR was directed to halt transfers to all facilities and to halt intake from local jails. The governor ordered no transfers and the CDCR violated the mandate to halt transfers and defied a direct directive causing other out breaks within the 35 state prison institutions.

My suggestion to you is retract the article and do research on assembly sub committee 6 Assembly member Philip Ting’s meeting of Nov. 10 of this year, and follow back to other meetings to learn the truth.

The CDCR is being investigated for corruption at various levels of government and many areas of this corruption includes this outbreak of Covid-19 and it’s handling of the outbreak that has killed 82 inmates and 10 CDCR staff to date and more than 1,110 systemwide area infected and rising each day. In addition for the CDCR’s carelessness, the court has stepped in to protect the vulnerable population with court action to release more than 50 percent of the population at San Quentin with the litigation still open awaiting action from all the participants.

Our governor has remained silent on this issue; and our senator and assembly members are in the trenches seeking answers, since the governor won’t or is reluctant to act for political reasons. Families of the incarcerated are alarmed, frightened and being isolated from their love ones. It is a huge tragedy on so many levels. The population has nowhere to run, they’re trapped in a cycle of sickness, and it is abhorrent.

I ask you to report this story accurately knowing first-hand that lives are being used as pawns in dangerous games of cover up and untold real stories still remains. People can choose to ignore based on class or race, because a criminal now has lost all credibility based on their crime. But at the end of the day, the death should not be the solution to being blinded to the cover up and miss use of taxpayer funds.

Another reader wrote, Hello, good evening. I was writing in hopes you would be able to help the family members of the men who are incarcerated at High Desert State Prison. Two weeks ago we had only three infected inmates. That number has jumped to more than 200. What the facility is doing is if half of one yard is infected, they are moving to a none infected yard. The same nurses that treat the men who are infected are the same ones that see the ones who are not sick. They use paper trays to feed infected inmates. As of last Thursday, they ran out of those trays and started feeding them on the same trays as non infected. They did start to hand out masks and would change them every eight hours. That lasted for two days and inmates where told to use whatever they have because masks where too expensive — that’s the same statement they made with the paper trays. The men inside HDSP are asking the correctional officcers why are they bringing people who have tested positive for the coronavirus into a non infected building and the response they got was you guys are making too much noise. It’s the same as the flu. If you can please help me and the other family members, we would highly appreciate it. We do not know what else to do, and we do not want to lose any more loved ones due to this negligence and irresponsibility by CDCR.

Thank you.

A third reader wrote, My son is incarcerated at High Desert State Prison. He has been there for more than five years.

Monday the inmates were given two N95 masks. If they asked for more and were told, “they are too expensive and there will be no more.”

The guards wear their neck sleeves just to their chin constantly. The inmates wear masks just to the chin and guards do not enforce mask rules or practice them. Overcrowding two men to a cell. They are not notifying anyone that there are cases on A Yard. The cases being reported are all B Yard. If A Yard locks down, it’s the main kitchen and in lock down prison employees (guards) have to do the cooking and cleaning.

When the inmates were tested they barely touched the entrance to their nostrils. The inmates now do not trust the results because they felt they were improperly tested.

They are scared and have no voice because of where they are. Even though they are imprisoned, it’s not right to have them in such a unsafe environment. Then they are told “too expensive not getting any more.”

They are forced to be locked up with guards who treat them as disposable. State employees are not following safe (practices). These guards go in and out of the prison daily. My son and many other people like my son are forced to be exposed. This is not right.

I am just a mom, and I’m pleading with anyone to give them a voice. They don’t want anything special they just want to be safe. I’m not giving my name in case it might hurt my son.

Thank you.