Paul Jones is free!
Lift up our elder by supporting his housing and medical expenses
Imagine living under a rock for 52 years and coming from
under that darkness into the free world.
Today I am alive and I am free!
order to keep my parole-approved housing in Sacramento, CDCr expects me
to pay $900 per month. I am also facing unexpected medical expenses in order to maintain and build up my health after a lack of proper medical care inside CDCr for too many years.
As friends help me to get this message out, I am laying in a hospital having collapsed during an outing navigating my newfound freedom. I was diagnosed with multiple blood clots in my lungs which could have resulted in a fatal pulmonary embolism. I hope not to die in here or in another prison, but to live for however long God gives me, near family and friends.
I am grateful to have my parole transferred from San Francisco to Sacramento, where my family resides. However, my transition out has not come without challenges. I walk with a cane and also suffer from physical exertion after walking only a short distance. I am now 72 years old with compromising health conditions exacerbated by too many years in prison.
Unless I am able to come up with $900 per month for housing, I will be transferred back to San Francisco to a transitional house owned and run by GEO Group - known to have serious operational issues, not to mention a lack of control over COVID-19 at their facilities - essentially sending me back to a prison-like setting.
Facing the technological changes of today is nothing less than overwhelming - the world is an amazing sight to someone who was never intended to ever live in it again.
It's almost a joke that one of the few things that hasn't changed is CDCr's practice to give a person just released from prison only $200 to jump start their life. Upon release from CSP Solano, I was dropped off at a train/bus station and told I needed to report to San Francisco immediately. The guards handed me a debit card and told me I could purchase a ticket to San Francisco - and then left me there, with absolutely no knowledge of how to navigate the transportation system. The ATM machine was broken, so there was no way to buy a ticket. I was able to solicit a man to use his cell phone (of which I am also not familiar) to call my family and have them drive out to pick me up from the train station. I don't know how others without family support would be able to succeed in these conditions.
Any support you can provide will help me get back on my feet, rebuild my health, and continue on. I am a living resistance to the powers that try to keep us down.
Thank you for hearing me out,
Paul Jones is a Black elder and a participant in the Pelican Bay/California Hunger Strikes in 2011 and 2013. He was resentenced under 1170(d)(1) and placed on parole under the laws and guidelines of 1969. His work has been featured in Prison Focus, San Francisco Bay View, Solitary Watch, and other publications. He was a member of the Prisoner Advocacy Network's Inside Leadership Team advising on organizational goals.
Read more from Paul Jones in his past contributions to the Bay View:
This fundraiser is supported by the Prisoner Advocacy Network. All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE and 100% of the proceeds will be provided directly to Paul.