In our most recent call from Solitary Gardener Tim Young, who is currently incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison, Tim happily reported that he finally got his 1st COVID vaccine shot.
While pleased to hear Tim’s good news, it is troubling to note that while 83% of the people who are incarcerated at San Quentin are vaccinated, only 59% of the prison staff are vaccinated. Across California, these numbers are even more stark, with some prisons reporting less than 40% of staff vaccinated despite the great risk to the population, especially with the Delta variant spreading. Governor Newsom has stated there are no plans to make COVID-19 vaccinations an employment requirement for California prison guards.
We are looking forward to collaborating with Tim more on the Solitary Garden, upcoming projects, and writings soon, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, you are welcome to visit and water the garden (located by the Elena Baskin Art Studios), and read Tim’s writing on staying “Pandemic Proof” while inside:
“The bonds that I have made through the Solitary Garden project and the love and support I received during the heart of the pandemic have been invaluable. As people may or may not know, I contracted the virus back in June of 2020. I had a very rough time of it but my saving grace came in the form of people who had come to know me through the project. It was my visibility that brought them in, but in return, it was their love, care and support that kept me afloat.”
Read more about San Quentin and COVID, and more:
To keep up to date on vaccination reports of CDCR staff and incarcerated individuals click here
by zaarin mizan, IAS Pathways Fellow