Letters from Twin Rivers Unit, MCC

Twin Rivers Unit is one of three facilities at the Monroe Correctional Complex, along with the WA State Reformatory and the Minimum Security Unit (MSU). All of the following letters were written by a trans woman incarcerated there. The first letter was received on April 9, 2020. The others were received between April 12 and April 15.

Letter 1:
Last night (2020-4-8) there was a massive protest at MCC-MSU due to the DOC’s failure to keep incarnated people safe from covid-19. We need people outside prison to keep pressure on the DOC. Don’t let the people who stood up for their rights get swept under the rug. Support them in fighting their infractions and see if a lawsuit can be made out of it. It’s only a matter of time till covid-19 spreads to the other parts of the prison. Just takes one officer doing overtime in MSU, then more at WSR, TRU or SOU to carry it from one place to another.

According to KING5 news The DOC’s solution to hundreds of incarcerated people protesting was to give them McDonalds. As in “Here this will keep you safe from the virus, junk food.”
The DOC does not care about keeping people safe. They care about keeping people docile.

+ Short timers and people with compromised immune systems need out. (Well, all of us need out, but one thing at a time. Right?)
+ It needs to be mandatory that DOC staff wear masks.
+ DOC staff that work “infected” units should not be allowed to then work posts in “noninfected” areas without a couple days off and a covid-19 test.
+ Incarcerated people need to be issued masks, gloves, and antibacterial wet-wipes.
+ Incarcerated people need to have our meals and other essentials delivered to the unit (the chow hall and other areas are a petri dish).

When any virus hits the facility, it does not stop until enough incarcerated people get it to achieve herd immunity. That means 70% to 80% of us get sick. This is why we are so scared. There needs to be drastic changes to prevent this from happening and that will not happen without massive support from people outside the prison.

Follow-up Letters:
At lunch the DOC had all the diets go at the same time. Most of the people on diet line are over 50. So we had a crowd of roughly 60 people who are the most at risk for covid-19 all packed together in a small space. This is not ok.

Officers and staff are finally starting to reliably wear masks. Up till this point it was rare to see half of the officers wearing masks, now a majority of them are waring masks, though still not all.

I took my last dose of spironolactone this morning. I’ve been trying to get it renewed for a month but medical has been unable to do so. They were able to renew my Estradiol without any issues, so I am confused as to what the problem is. If they were overwhelmed by covid-19 I expect that neither of my HRT meds would be renewed.

The ice porter has finally been issued a mask and gloves.

Updates from the University of Washington Bothell's Project on Mass Incarceration in Washington State