Letter from Henry: April 2020

This is the thirteenth installation of a column previously composed solely by MarQui Clardy Jr, one of our pen pals incarcerated at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center in Virginia.

This letter is by Henry Goldberg writing from the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina.

I hope this reaches you in full health and spirit. I attempted to reach you by phone several times to give you the updated information faster. On March 25th, Assistant Warden Hayward informed each housing unit that an officer somewhere on the Butner Complex tested positive for COVID-19. More strict regulations were enacted, such as units would go to recreation, education and the cafeteria separately. Essential jobs such as laundry, food service, and facility repair would continue at a lesser capacity. When asked about the UNICOR factory (which is not essential) we were told that it would continue to operate. UNICOR employs about one-quarter of the population here, the same people they want to isolate were still working together in close proximity. One inmate asked Captain T. Leslie why hasn't there been a UNICOR stoppage. She responded by saying "I don't know" then rubbed her thumb, index, and middle fingers together and said "money".

UNICOR continued to operate near full capacity up until today (4/1/2020), and even then a select few reported to work. On March 26th, I was leaving the UNICOR factory for lunch, and I spotted a hand sanitizer dispense mounted on the wall in a public area. I placed some sanitizer on my hands, then Ms. Angela Taylor, a foreman at UNICOR (also known for disrespectful behavior) screamed at me publicly, saying: "WIPE THAT OFF YOUR HANDS. THROW IT IN THE TRASH. DON'T EVER TOUCH THAT AGAIN. STAFF ONLY."

I was so disgusted and infuriated about how our health was not being taken seriously. I wrote a long letter to the Washington Post and New York Times. There needs to be some accountability here and the public needs to see how our health is being sacrificed for money.

We also need help with Passover, as it seems as though Chaplin Hicks is dragging his feet.

Anything you can do to help will be very much appreciated. Thank you so much for your work and time.

Have a happy and safe Passover.

Henry Goldberg


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