Overcrowding, poor food and poor medical care common in California
Let me begin this summary stating that this institution is and has been overcrowded. The actual count it is supposed to hold escapes me, but I am very sure it has been exceeded by 2000. The overpopulation is very apparent since we now are stacked on triple bunk beds which were once doubles. The gymnasiums have been converted into housing units which hold up to 200+ people in an area designed for full court basketball. The inmate to correctional guard ratio is around 50 to 1. As a result of the overpopulation, there have been many infections caused by poor sanitation and the close quartering. Infections range from Staph to ringworm and even tetanus. Not to mention the fact that the facility was built in an area that has a high rate of valley fever.
The food is meager, but I really shouldn't complain since there are far worse prisons in other countries. Protein makes few appearances in this diet. Medical has been slightly revived in the last few months since the federal government's threats to come in and clean the place up. A lot of people look forward to them coming in, but we will have to wait and see if they really change anything. Luckily, mail here isn't heavily censored, but things often change quickly around here.
One of the things I have noticed is the fact that this prison houses a lot of lifers. Now, you would wonder why does this prison accept so many lifers, but it is easily observed when you see the work rosters for PIA (Prison Industry Authority). They employ a large number of lifers to work in their factories for small wages. In facility II, where I currently reside, we have the furniture factory where the inmates make furniture for resale to the state. Where these profits go, no one knows. Information is kept and rarely shared with the prison population, causing a lot of frustration and uncertainty.
This is just a brief summary to outline some of the conditions that we live in. A lot of the prison population states that these conditions have been getting worse. We remain vigilant for any improvements.