Update on Michael and COVID-19 in prison

Michael has clear Covid-19 symptoms (loss of taste, flu-like symptoms such as aches and pains, tiredness, etc.), and is in a quarantine unit, he was moved there last week with 42 others, but now the whole unit of 100 men is being quarantined! This means he is going to have to share a cell with someone else, who may also, or may not yet have Covid-19, and who may be a total stranger to Michael, posing anxiety and even more nervousness.

I [webmaster] e-mailed the Ombudsman, but she only referred to the medical staff, which I called, but they only had an answering machine on, so I spoke in a long message about the situation.

Michael wrote that he still is very tired, has lack of energy, but he also had lack of taste and the taste is slowly returning. He is trying to exercise to keep fit, but he has also lost a lot of weight. Soon he will be celled up again, inside the quarantine-unit at CSATF, with a potentially new Corona-sufferer…

From Zah, via Jpay-message: 9-3-2020

“They are going around to each cell and demanding that people move into the cell with someone… They have no problem putting people in further harms way. Which is what this would do. And the medical is not going to say anything, knowing it will put people in harms way.”

In an earlier message that day:

“This is the second week for a lot of guys who were quarantined last week (some of us came over here last Monday and Tuesday). It will be interesting to see what is done. Particularly with much of the remaining people waiting to be moved now. I will keep you posted on any new developments. Please thank everyone for me ok.”

Please write Michael, via Jpay.com (he can respond!) or snail mail, thank you! He has no paper or envelopes or stamps to respond, but he can respond via Jpay.

Zah is in quarantine

Michael in October of 2018-closeup

Michael in October of 2018

“I have been pretty sore, particularly in my back and shoulders. And I have noticed that I am tired.

We are not specifically being told by health care staff why we are being quarantined. Anytime I have ask I am being told, “they do not know,” (we have a right to know why we are being quarantined) but, we were told that all of the people who were moved over here, starting, I think, on Wed., had tested positive for having the virus. We actually have been infected.

Since being over here in the quarantine building, it has not been unpleasant. Staff have been really decent. We have our vitals taken 2-3 times a day. We are not being told anything by the health care staff. I honestly do not ask any questions because it can become very frustrating being told, “I do not know,” by the people who are suppose to have some answers. Flu station has a way of turning into arguments.

At least two of the guys who were quarantined, have been quarantined twice in a month. One of the guys is the guy who was moved back in the bed over me. Social distancing is simply not possible in dorm settings. The beds are less than 3 ft. apart. And about 50 or more people in each section share everything from the showers, to the toilets, and day room area. It’s pretty difficult to try and stay out of the dayroom area, and instead stay in the area of your bed, because if you have someone sleeping on top of you, as I do, you are trying to find some kind of privacy. And it’s hard to have privacy in these settings.

There is now this added pressure because now you have been infected by the virus. Once you have had it, you know that you can get it. And you feel as though you are always in, potentially, harms ways, regardless of what you do to try and keep yourself safe.

Even when we try to protect ourselves by putting up a sheet or towel to be used as a divider between your bed and the bed next to you,we are told that it’s not allowed (we were actually suppose to be provided with divider that would be placed between each bed to create some distancing. We were told that the dividers would not be provided to us because of the cost. So the position that we find ourselves in is, they will not provide us with the things that could prevent the spread of the virus because of the cost. And, we are not allowed to use a sheet or towel between the beds as a preventive measure because it is a safety and security issue, (and this would not cost anything).

We are in the midst of a pandemic, people are dying, and in spite of this they just do not think it is necessary to make changes in the way that prisons are run. We are being put and kept in these extremely high risk situations. If many of us took the position that we no longer want to be housed in these high risk dorm settings, we would be placed in ad seg and given a disciplinary write-up.

There must be changes made immediately to what is being done. One change should be around the “NDPF,” (or 50/50, “Non-Designated Programming Facilities“) yards. The Office of Administrative Law has determined that the policies on this is an underground regulation. Fixing this problem and providing programming for regular lower level prisoners is now possible, and in non-dorm settings.”

Note: After this, Zah let us know: “I am in a cell by myself now. Everyone who is quarantined is put on single cell status. The dorm is where I was housed when this happened.”

Sent to a supporter via Jpay on 8/29/2020 2:03:19 PM

Michael is now at SATF

Michael in October of 2018-closeup

Michael in October of 2018

Michael Dorrough was moved to SATF in Corcoran a week ago. He was placed on Level 2, which is the same low security level he had before he was temporarily wrongfully placed in administrative segregation.

Please write to Michael via the following address:

Michael Reed Dorrough, D83611
P.O. Box 5248
Corcoran, CA 93212
You can now also use Jpay.com to write to Zah, but he can only respond via snailmail. So do not forget to add your return address in the letter as well as on the top left side of your envelope.
You can also include stamps for Michael to respond.
The fundraiser for the Legal Trustfund for Zaharibu is also still on, and you are invited to donate towards legal costs to get him his day in court, by clicking here.
Thank you!

Michael was moved to CSP-Sacramento

Please write to Michael, he needs our support:

Michael Reed Dorrough, D83611
CSP-Sacramento STRH – G 178L
P.O. Box 290066,
Represa, CA 95671

Thank you so much!

Photo of Michael Reed Dorrough 2014

One of the first photo’s after Michael was allowed to have a picture taken (once a year that was in 2014)

Zaharibu’s first Photo in many years

Zaharibu sent us this picture of him taken in 2012.  He is now allowed to have one picture per year taken. 

For years he and the others inside the SHU never had the opportunity to have their picture taken, something which is so simple and humane for their families, loved ones, and for themselves, to see a picture of their own face. It took hunger strikes to get some of these basic things.  

How much longer will those inside California’s SHU’s and ASU’s (prison control units, solitary confinement, 23 or 24 hours a day in lock-up) be tortured and forced to snitch to get to general population?

Especially people like Zaharibu, who has been in solitary for 24 years!!


A calm and gentle breeze blows in from the sea

                                    It is morning

Far, far out on the pristine blue canvas

Swans slowly move their wings

            Morning, and as every morning

It is the first morning ever to come to us


The first dawn of a new day

            Everything hushed and cleaned by the magnificence

Of it. The sea and the heavens

                        Up in the sky high above the land birds soar

                                   And look down on us

The soft and dazzling blur of houses and villages.

                        And our two hearts beat softly upon one another

                                   The boats are coming nearer

            And the great birds dive close in over the water

                        A longshoreman, seeing us, waves

                                   And a calm breeze caresses us

A strand of your hair brushes across my cheek


            In this world with you I could live forever…


                                                           Michael Reed Dorrough (2011)