Prisoners on the west side of Chippewa Correctional Facility (Chippewa) at Kincheloe, Michigan, have been locked-down since 30 January 2018, eight men crammed into a cubicle designed for four, in old, mold-infested cattlebarns containing approximately 320 men each, sick and healthy alike, under the guise of a “quarantine” for the influenza virus epidemic that has spread throughout North America and the world. Thanks in great part to the overbreeding of animals, particularly turkeys, chickens, and hogs, and cramming them into similar cattlebarns, which serve as both incubators for viruses that cross-over from animal to humans and as profit-making machines for the masters.
Being on lockdown means we have no yard, no programs, no GED classes, no visitors, and the chow hall is run one unit at a time. However, this is not a quarantine as both sick and healthy prisoners remain crammed together in these cattlebarns, with no attempt made by the administrators to separate the sick from the healthy. As I write this I can hear coughing and sneezing all around me. Nevertheless, prisoners from all units report to work together in the chow hall and at the Michigan State Industries (MSI) factory. Moreover, prisoners are still being transferred from one prison to another, whether those prisoners are “quarantined” or not, and many are, including the eastside of Chippewa and nearby Kinross Correctional Facility. So it’s business as usual for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), fake quarantine or not.
A real quarantine would require sick prisoners to be separated, i.e., quarantined, from the healthy ones, either in a segregation unit or a regular unit or wing by moving the healthy prisoners out and the sick prisoners in. This is not what is happening at Chippewa. Instead, we’re all locked-down in these old, overcrowded cattlebarns passing the virus back and forth in a deadly game of catch. The equivalent of keeping both sick and healthy children in school together, instead of sending the sick ones home.
A real quarantine would require the MDOC to actually care about its prisoners and make an effort to separate the sick from the healthy. Caring and effort are things the MDOC, unfortunately, has proven to be incapable of over the years. The MDOC couldn’t even be bothered to keep their sick employees home, which is how the flu virus got inside its prisons in the first place, especially up north where visits are rare and perpetually short-staffed prisons, due to low wages, lead to employees working as much as they can, including overtime, to get by.
All the MDOC is really interested in is creating the illusion they’re doing the job taxpayers pay them $2 billion a year to do. In other words, they stand around leaning on brooms and shovels and only pretend to use them when someone is looking. Ho Chi Minh said long ago, “Open the gates of prison and the dragon will fly out.” Although, I don’t think he ever suspected the dragon would be the next Spanish flu virus, or worse, that was incubated inside America’s prisons!
7 February 2018
Rand W. Gould C-187131
(with assistance of: Charles Edward Atiba Bomoni Payton, A571203)