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As COVID-19 spreads across five provinces, criminal justice reformers are calling on cities and states to make special efforts to protect prisons and prisoners.
According to the latest analysis of COVID-19 rates in 14 state prisons by the Legal Aid Society, 142 new cases totaled 2,040 in just eight days, which Governor Andrew Cuomo said could be prevented by reduction efforts. I insist and ask you to improve the situation. congestion.
Under the recommendation of legal assistance, those who are released within 90 days of their release date and are sentenced to non-violent, non-sexually related crimes.
“This shameful milestone is with Governor Cuomo. [Department of Correction and Community Supervision] We have noted calls from advocates, medical professionals and other professionals for immediate criticism of medically vulnerable individuals, “said Stephen Short, attorney at law for the Prisoner Rights Project of the Legal Assistance Association. Stated. “Without serious intervention by Governor Cuomo or the DOCCS, it is clear that the situation will only get worse and the consequences will be even more tragic. The state will act immediately to free medically vulnerable people. Have to.”
However, according to the DOCCS, legal aid claims in the analysis require additional context, and authorities are currently following guidelines issued by the State Department of Health.
“In the context of the’conclusion’of legal assistance, as of December 11, 2020, there are currently only 249 positive cases at the DOCCS facility, but 1,773, or about 88 of the numbers they cite. % Is the beginning of this pandemic, “said DOCCS spokeswoman Thomas Mayley. “As a result of the significant increase in COVID-19 infections at Attica, Auburn and Cayuga correctional facilities, visits to the three facilities have been temporarily suspended until further notice. The program is currently suspended. , Some programs have been modified to continue working. The department has also deployed a quick inspection for staff. “
Meanwhile, Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez called on Dana Wax, Deputy Chief of Staff of the City Correction Department, to address what steps were being taken nine months after the pandemic began.
Following reports of prison capacity of 96% and no masks and hygiene precautions in place, Ocasio Cortez requested the DOC to explain the safety of detainees.
“But in the months that passed, I learned some additional protective measures that must be taken to prevent outbreaks. These measures include wearing a face cover, soap and water for 20 seconds. Includes washing hands and avoiding close contact. In addition, the EPA recommends “increased ventilation by outside air and air filtration” to reduce “potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19”. doing. I’m currently writing to see if the Department of Corrections is in compliance with this guidance, “said Ocasio Cortez.
Roof leaks, poor ventilation, and lack of medical resources were also one of the concerns raised in the letter that Congressman asked many questions to the DOC. Her question list included:
Are detained individuals provided with enough soap to thoroughly wash their hands multiple times a day?
In fact, is the capacity of the facility 96%?
Can detained individuals receive consistent, high-quality medical care?
Is the facility properly ventilated to reduce the likelihood of viral infection in accordance with EPA guidelines?
How often are detained individuals tested?
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the letter at a press conference Monday morning, stating that his administration not only reduced the crowd at DOC, but also had lower prison infection rates than the general public.
“Everyone was trying to understand this situation when we were dealing with the first wave, the big unknown. The city made a bold decision. Working with DA, working with the state In the end, about 1,600 prisoners came out of the prison system as a safeguard, given what was happening in another situation at the time, “said de Blasio. “Well, thank God. Everyone has learned a lot, so orthodontic medicine is much better at dealing with the virus. The population, especially Rikers, is very small and there are many. Because we have a lot of space we use. Space available to expand people. We screen people who come in, whether they are employees or prisoners, and check their situation. Make sure you know. That’s a much better situation. “
These statements were issued when New York was given the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer, and Governor Andrew Cuomo exhibited it Monday morning when the first healthcare worker was injected. Did.
New York prisons and prisons remain COVID-19 death traps, defenders say
Source link New York prisons and prisons remain COVID-19 death traps, defenders say