As of 18 February 2021 at SCI Forest there are 13 active COVID-19 cases among prisoners; 968 prisoners infected with COVID-19 have recovered; and 4 men have died. I am told that an elderly incarcerated gentleman serving life without parole sentence tested positive for COVID-19 and died, but he did not die of COVID-19. He committed suicide. Six staff members at SCI Forest tested positive for COVID-19 and are considered active COVID-19 cases; 145 staff members who contracted COVID-19 have recovered; and there have been no deaths reported for staff members who contracted COVID-19. Throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as of 18 February 2021, 496 incarcerated souls have contracted COVID-19; 9,336 incarcerated souls have recovered from COVID-19; and 103 incarcerated Men and Women have died from COVID-19 due to the negligent behavior of prison staff. Statewide as of 18 February 2021, 178 active cases of COVID-19 exist among prison staff; 3,945 prison staff have recovered from COVID-19; and 4 prison staff members have died from COVID-19.
Now, on to Pennsylvania State Prison Guards Union President John Eckenrode and his interview of KDKA News on 18 February 2021. He complained that inmates are being paid to get vaccinated and they will be done before staff. That's a bold lie. Please go on the Facebook page of Heather Abraham who spoke on this news story. Pittsburgh news reporters spoke very badly about prisoners. What they are not saying is that staff will be vaccinated at the same time as prisoners. On 16 February 2021, SCI Laurel Highlands began vaccinations ---542 out of 779 prisoners received a vaccination. Only 60 prison staff members chose to receive a free vaccination. Also, SCI Forest Superintendent Derek Oberlander just told us that he is not sure how much it is, but any prisoner or any staff who takes the vaccine will be financially compensated. So we already know that prisoners will be given $25 from the I.G.W.F. (Inmate General Welfare Fund), but I'm willing to bet taxpayers will be paying for prison staff to receive vaccinations. . John Eckenrode blatantly lied on the KDKA news interview when he stated that staff were being vaccinated after inmates. SCI Waymart and SCI Muncy are next for vaccinations. Since I have no internet access, I cannot see the Pennsylvania House and Senate Appropriations Budget Hearings with Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary The Honorable John Wetzel. I advise everyone to read the transcripts online when available. All Pennsylvania state prisons have been approved to administer the "Monoclonal Antibody Treatment". This is a three-hour transfusion that can be done in the infirmary of most prisons. Some prisons will send prisoners to a local hospital for this. Claire Shubik-Richards, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society discussed the fact that prisoners are in dire need of this vaccine, but when it comes to people in prison getting anything before the public, we will always be demonized by those who hate us. By blatantly lying on the news, John Eckenrode has shown his prejudice for prisoners. So let me be clear, anyone who takes the vaccine will be compensated. Prisoners will receive money from their own inmate account, an account that accumulates money from the high costs of services to prisoners, money we spend that our loved ones send us to survive because no one can survive off of 19 cents an hour, This is why we must support State Representative Chris Rabb on his Fair Wage Act. Please reach out to him to show your support for fair wages inside and out of prison. Our Superintendent will be vaccinated in front of us with the Moderna vaccine. There is no date set for SCI Forest to be vaccinated but it is coming. We all cannot be first and we know there is a lot of at-risk women in SCI Muncy who desperately need this too. Our turn will come. If you are a supporter of prisoners or if you have a loved one in here, please reach out to Heather Abraham on Facebook. See if she will correct her story of the inaccuracies in it. I will never lie to anyone reading my emails.
On a separate note, I want to offer my sincerest congratulations to the following women: Mildred Strickland and Avis Lee and also to the following men: George Burkhart, Daniel Cummings, Eric Eisen, Reid Evans, Wyatt Evans, Charles Goldblum, Charles Haas, Dennis Horton, Lee Horton, Francisco Mojica, and Gregory Stover. Each one of these 13 human beings were told that their lives did not matter anymore. All 13 were sentenced to death by incarceration, but these men and women did not give up. They continued to work on their rehabilitation, personal change, and growth. I am extremely happy for each and every one of you. Chuck Haas, I wish you the best in life my friend. All of you men and women have earned this rare gift. We will not all get this chance but we must never take our eye off the goal -- Parole For All Lifers. We cannot stop until we reach this goal. We have lost over 100 plus prisoners now to COVID. How do you make commutation only to die of COVID due to poor medical treatment? My sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Bruce Norris. I did not know Mr. Norris but this is the definition of a tragedy. In my 23 years in prison I have met some amazing men and women sentenced to death by incarceration. We need to show that there are good people in here. I know that every Lifer who received commutation will go on to be an asset to their community. Some say that people cannot change in here. These 13 men and women, and many others before them, have proven that theory wrong. It is imperative that we start changing the narrative on Lifers now. Thank you to everyone involved. We all must work together for the goal that we all want -- parole eligibility for ALL Lifers. Not just one group, but all of us. Working together as a team does not make us weak, it empowers us and makes us strong. So please, Lifers inside & out, we all need to work together. Let your voices be heard.
As for my health, I am considered recovered of COVID-19, but I still have a cough for a month now. I want to say “Rest in Peace: to my little cousin Matt, who recently chose to end his life. I have not seen him since he was a little kid and I feel so much guilt for not being there for my family. We come out of our cells for 70 minutes each day. We must shower, use the phone, send and receive emails and get our recreation done in that time frame. Sixteen prisoners come out at one time. If you have any questions. Please ask. You can reach me by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Pezzeca, Rehabilitated Lifer; Unity =Freedom #Prisoners Lives Matter Too