Six incarcerated folks and a medical doctor from San Quentin State Prison gave their testimonies Thursday at an evidentiary hearing in the case against the state prison and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) during the COVID-19 crisis.
And the testimony was damning.
Judge Geoffrey Howard presided over the hearing in San Marin County Superior Court where he heard of the unsanitary environment, the mishandled transfer of COVID-19 infected people from California Institute for Men (CIM) to San Quentin that resulted in an outbreak, poor working conditions, and mental health deteriorations of incarcerated people.
John Mattox was one of those transfers from CIM, and is currently incarcerated in San Quentin. He revealed that before he was transferred, he knew people that were infected with the virus, noting that they were coughing and sneezing.
One of those infected was Mattox’s friend. He recalled having to help his friend, who had high temperatures, get from his cell to medical. He recalled that he was helping his friend from May 19 to May 23 of last year.
Mattox stated his friend “didn’t want to get out of bed, he didn’t want to eat. I brought it to the guard’s attention but they ignored it and just gave him a temperature check,” adding “they didn’t do anything, they didn’t isolate him.”