October 05, 2020

Warren, Durbin slam government’s ‘failing’ efforts to contain coronavirus in federal prisons

In a pair of letters to U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr and Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, two Democratic senators suggest that the government’s response to coronavirus outbreaks in federal facilities is failing, and they question the BOP’s reliance on solitary confinement to isolate sick prisoners rather than granting compassionate release.

Federal prisoners, corrections staff, government inspectors and civil rights advocates have complained for months that the BOP’s strategies, when useful, are inconsistently applied. The overall inadequate response is leaving a vulnerable population at risk of infection and creating major vectors for transmission more than seven months into the pandemic. Since the start of the outbreak, more than 17,000 federal prisoners and staffers have tested positive and more than 130 have died.

“This is mounting evidence that efforts to contain the virus within BOP facilities are failing,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote to Barr and Carvajal in one of the Oct. 2 letters, which were viewed by The Washington Post.

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Read the full article on the Washington Post here.


By:  Kim Bellware
Source: Washington Post