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Prison Conditions

January 20, 1994

* John Garamendi's reference to prisons as "concrete palaces" (Dec. 29) as well as the statement " . . . when our kids have schools that are as good as prisons" deserves much refinement. As a firsthand point of view, I am sure your readers would like to know that the prison where I am currently incarcerated is a far cry from a concrete palace.

I am currently sentenced to 16 months for a computer crime, have no violence on my record, and in no way expected the conditions here at Folsom. There are no gymnasiums, no computers, or any kind of adult education whatsoever. The overcrowding makes it impossible to even work. The current wait is a minimum of four months.

Furthermore, the inmates spend most of the time locked up in 5 foot by 12 foot cells. Showers are a privilege. The access to the yard is only two to three times a week, and most showers are taken outside no matter what the temperature is. In essence, this is a human warehouse.

STUART GOTTLIEB

Folsom State Prison

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