My name is Shane Jenkins. I’m a 45 year-old-man from Texas and father of 5. I was arrested on March 5, 2021 for the events related to January 6th.
After my arrest, I was flown all over the nation and bused here and there until I ended up in Washington DC at the DC DOC on April 13, 2021. I have been here since then. I have not seen a friend, a loved one or any of my children in over 600 days. Typically institutions have a policy for visitation. The DC DOC falls under Muriel Bowers’ purview or jurisdiction and the Director, Thomas Faust. Their policy regarding visitation is that inmates and visitors must be vaxxed and boosted to have visits.
21 of the 24 men here are unvaxxed. We are all here related Jan. 6th and are from all over the nation. We are fighting the biggest fight of our lives and need the support of our family and friends. We have tried to address this issue by using the IGP or inmate grievance procedure. The responses to our grievances place the blame on the mayor’s “medical stay in place policy” and claim that “as the CDC updates their guidance, we will update our policy.”
We know that the CDC adjusted its guidance some time ago and determined vaccinated & unvaccinated people should be treated the same. There is no longer such a thing as “vaccine status” according to the CDC. Apparently, cities use a Covid transmission rate rating to show how Covid-19 is impacting the community. The rating levels go from High-Med-to Low. High being the worst and Low being the best possible rating. Washington DC happens to have a low rating or best possible rating.
In the most recent CDC Guidance regarding Corrections and detention facilities, they have varying policy guidance based upon the city’s rating system I mentioned earlier. Remember DC is LOW. The policy is the latest CDC Guidance for visitation in a city rated LOW are as follows, “provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer” and “instruct visitors and volunteers to postpone their visits if they have symptoms of Covid-19.”
Even with the low-level transmission here in DC, we are still forced to wear masks, if we choose not to wear a mask we must remain in our cells. The CDC has also updated their mask policy as of 9/23/2022 which includes health care facilities and hospitals to “people may choose to masks at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with Covid-19 should wear a mask.” I would imagine a hospital policy should be good enough for jail.
What I have done is gather just a sample of writing that men here provided in relation to their families, visitation and their mental health. We want you to understand the pain and anguish this has caused us and our loved ones. To be denied their touch, their hugs, their smiles and their laughter is torture. We have missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and even funerals.
We need your help! Our goal is to be able to visit with our families friends and loved ones. The easiest way to accomplish this would be for the Mayor’s office and the DC DOC to adjust their policy and adhere to the CDC guidance by allowing in-person visits for the unvaccinated.
You may be wondering how you can help. Funny you ask. If there’s one thing we’ve learned and that we know it is that The Sixer audience is active. Your kindness, your love and your willingness to help know no bounds. If you would take just a few minutes today to send a few emails, make a few calls, write a few letters or do all three, you would be giving a voice to the voiceless. You can be a part of reuniting all of us with our families and friends. Thank you so very much for your time and efforts in advance. May God bless you all.
How You Can Help
Please write, call, and/or email the two offices below asking Mayor Muriel Bowser to lift her Stay in Place policy and for Director Thomas Faust to adjust their policy and adhere to the updated CDC guidelines.
Executive Office of the Mayor
Write: 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004
Call: (202) 727-2643
DC Department of Corrections
Write: 2000 14th Street, NW, Seventh Floor, Washington, DC 20009
Call: (202) 698-4932