COVID Prison Testimonies: Mark Kersey in Virginia, September 2020

September 17, 2020
Mark Kersey
Sussex I State Prison, Virginia

Dear Friends, 

I hope & pray this correspondence reaches and finds each of you experiencing well being, especially in light of these critical times that are hard to deal with. 

I am a fairly new subscriber to the “Prison Health News” which I am grateful to be a recipient of. The information contained in each issue is very informative. 

I would like to contribute to the cause of keeping the prisons of Virginia population informed on various health news. 

As of now Sussex I State Prison has had a major COVID-19 “outbreak.” I believe it started being contracted through the facility’s kitchen supervisors who passed it on to the offenders who work in the kitchen. 

Kitchen workers were housed in various pods within the compound general population. So the virus was easy to spread. September 8th they performed tests on the kitchen workers. Within 48 hours they started quarantining them. 

Next thing – regular population offenders started showing test results of positive – within a 5-7 day time span you had over a hundred test results showing positive. 

Now the prison is in a frenzy and extremely chaotic. Administration and medical aren’t following proper protocol in accords with the “CDC” or the “VDH” [Virginia Department of Health] meanwhile the infected inmates including myself are being poorly treated. The circumstances and situation is dire. We are being kept from using the kiosk or phone to communicate with our loved ones. 

They have two medical personnel come around once a day and take our temperature, through hand reading or scanning. No one from mental health has come to talk to anyone to help ease the anxiety of scared individuals. 

I hope your organization conducts an inquiry and helps expose this facility’s negligence. 

Sincerely yours,

Mark Kersey

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