Being in jail is terrible, but I got through it

I went to jail on August 24th, 2021. 

I stayed there for about four months, and it was terrible. I was in the cell myself the whole time. The conditions were really bad. 

For example, I wear eyeglasses, and I went to the medical office to take an eye test. The doctor told me I would receive them in three months, because they had to order them. I said OK, but I waited for seven months and I still didn’t get my eyeglasses. I wanted to file a lawsuit on them. 

Also, not only is the food terrible for my medical problems, but they feed you the same thing every week. For dinner you get bologna and cheese sandwiches every day. If you don’t have money for the commissary you will be hungry all day until breakfast. 

I  and about 30 other inmates caught Covid-19, so they quarantined us for 14 days until the virus was gone so we can go back to the program. When one person has it, it spreads around. But we don’t go anywhere, so I think a correctional officer brought it into the jail from the street. When they say they are sick, they can take off work, but we can’t leave. 

Still, some officers will help you out, and that’s why I’m not in jail today. 

One officer came to my cell twice and asked if I wanted to go start a re-entry program in December. I told him yes, I would like to go over there. He told me that I would go home sooner rather than later. So for the last three months, I was in the re-entry program, and it was a lot better than the D.C. jail. 

One lady officer helped me with my letter to the judge to tell him what’s going on over here. I only had a misdemeanor and I wanted an early release, because people are dying with Covid-19. This is a serious matter and I fear for my life. I got on detail so I can get out faster than I was supposed to. I was very happy. 

I got an early release in March and then I went home. I did so well in the program that my program director liked me. But I would tell anyone: Don’t go over to the jail if you can help it. 

Ronald Smoot is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.

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