Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

Touch Down! First Semester Of PRISON Business School Down!"

For the first time in over a year, California Institution of Women prisoners can mix and mingle.

 

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Nothing makes you appreciate what you have more than losing them temporarily

Hello everyone. I'm back. I'm feeling like a million bucks!! I'm now between semesters. During covid, I was so depressed at one point, I thought I'd drop out of my AA program!! So, I overcame that and I'm on my way to my degree.... So many things changed since I last spoke to you!! Man!!

I took hiatus from writing to complete my first semester of Chaffey College business school work.Here I am!! A big step towards my freedom!

So, CIW is back OPEN!! WIDE OPEN!! I go to drug treatment [email protected] 10:30-12:30. I go to vocational computer related technology from 1:00-3:00 pm, every other day. It's all good.

On Tuesday evenings, I have an 8 week art therapy class too. The hours in all of these help towards my early release!!

Covid restrictions are relaxed:

3 FEET INMATE SOCIAL DISTANCE REQUIRED

NO MASK REQUIRED OUTSIDE IF YOU'RE ALONE!!

( but must carry mask with you at all times and put it on if someone walks up to you!!)

NO MORE MEAL DELIVERY TO UNITS!

(We've been eating in the VILLAGE KITCHEN Dining room for 2 weeks!!)

DENTAL Does A 15 Minute RAPID TEST Before Dental Work!!

Inmates now INTEGRATED on the yard, school, etc.!!

For the first time in over a year, CIW PRISONERS can mix and mingle. I don't hang out personally. People who do now can get to see those they've missed!!

After over 2 weeks of being FULLY OPEN, STILL NO Covid cases!! We continue to test weekly.

So far, so good.

Also, CDCR announced a big jump in early release credit earnings for ALL prisoners!! I'm a VIOLENT OFFENDER. So, I now do 66%. Down from 80%. Lifers do the 66% also!!

Regular non-violent offenders do 33%!! Yes, it's another of the many Covid-related blessings coming to us!!

So, with my schooling, drug treatment, and vocational training, I may not have enough time to complete my 2 year AA and Business Certificate!! Those credits add up fast. Some are retroactive!! I'm not even going to count them because I have a lot of them coming. And I must make sure to complete college, drug treatment and my vocation. Those are important to me!!

I especially love going to my daily treatment class!! It's so improved my mental health. After the 2nd day of drug class, I noticed I felt 100% better. All it takes for me is to do something meaningful daily, with purpose and outside of my unit!!

I'm in a good mental space right now!! Something money can't buy!! And psyche medications can't replace or fix it when we're on a lockdown. I just needed to go to classes. Now that I am, I'm super happy.

Well, I've saved another secret to my happiness. I have a good friend!! We talk daily and have a mutual respect. It feels good to have someone care about me and to share in my success!! So, to celebrate my first semester of college being completed, my friend surprised me by ordering my art supplies. I was beside myself when I found out!! God is good!! So, I'm content waiting for them to arrive!!

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Art therapy

When they announced no masks required outside, several woman were UPSET about it, saying they were not comfortable with the new freedom!? So wear YOUR mask!! But grow up and leave the rest of us alone!! Some people's reactions remind me of the Stockholm Syndrome! When it comes to the Covid protocol!! Like they've fallen in love with their captors!! They now love the masks!! They love being in another prison within the prison!!?? We've been open over 2 weeks. No positive cases!! We test all the time. I know where I am and what's at stake. I'm not going to voluntarily offer to give back the freedoms that were just given back to me, IN PRISON. If you're scared, wear YOUR MASK and SHUT UP!! This is a young girl in her 30's too! This ignorance knows no bounds; it even came over the prison walls!! Amazing. This fear is far more destructive than the virus ever was. Is there a shot for that?? Maybe they can add some psychotropic medicine to the vaccine to cure the mental diseases Covid inspired in so many....

 

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