He’s Another One of “Ours”

by Keith Laron Durr

Living in a Michigan State Penitentiary where there’s no good time, no truth of sentence, no disciplinary credit, no cap on life sentence, no rehabilitation, a mandatory life sentence for first degree murder = a place where prisoners get paid slave wages!

At this moment I’m serving time at Muskegon Correctional Facility where Sherry Burt is the Acting Warden. Sherry Burt failed to follow the proper protocol of MI DOC due to the fact she knew inmates were Covid-19 positive and failed to shut down the compound. Due to her negligence, the whole compound and I tested positive for Covid-19.

I suffered various symptoms such as lost taste, lost smell, low energy, shortness of breath, a lack of strength, and body pains. Despite all these different symptoms, the administration failed to provide any treatment for prisoners. Inmates did not receive vitamins, antibiotics, or steroids to strengthen their lungs, no food with nutrition, and the only fruit served was an apple.

Inmates’ frustrations were high, so correctional officers were uncomfortable and the administration shut the compound down. Inmates' anger stems from the warden mixing inmates that were positive with inmates that were negative. In the penitentiary it’s hard to practice social distance based on the facts: you share a cell with another inmate, we share a bathroom in a unit that holds 200 inmates. Microwaves, store machine, JPay machines, water fountains, all are shared by 200 inmates in one unit.

All cleaning supplies are watered down so prisoners are in a bad position. Fourteen Muskegon correctional officers tested positive for Covid-19. As of Sept. 2nd, 2020, there are two confirmed deaths at Muskegon Correctional Facility. Inmates are protesting, but the reality is that as a prisoner you cannot win.

These are the circumstances a prisoner has to face while fighting the coronavirus in the penitentiary.