On March 29, the U.S. Bureau of prisons announced the death from the coronavirus first inmate in the United States. Politicians, lawyers and human rights activists have long warned of an imminent epidemic outbreak in the prison, but some prisoners the spread of the disease was by chance ahead of time to be released. About it writes BBC.
49-year-old Patrick Jones, serving in Louisiana a 27-year sentence for drug trafficking, became the first official victim of the coronavirus in the prison system of the United States.
According to the Washington Post, citing a Union representative for prison guards Corey Trammel, after the death of Jones, one of the guards of the prison, “Oakdale” was placed in intensive care, and positive results of tests for the presence of coronavirus was a minimum of 30 prisoners.
In total, according to Trammel, the prison, designed for 1,700 people in quarantine is almost 60 inmates and fewer guards.
The Federal Bureau of prisons, the U.S. confirmed the death of the convict, but refused to comment on the figures that led the Washington Post the Union representative in Louisiana.
Just today in the United States in various places of detention, including immigration, military prisons, places of confinement of juvenile offenders and special closed psychiatric clinic, contains 2.3 million people.
But, according to the official data of the Bureau of prisons, the presence of coronavirus in the end of March was officially confirmed in only 14 of the prisoners and 13 guards.
Human rights activists and lawyers believe that these data are at least incomplete. A week ago the authorities of new York, for example, has declared that in city jails 38 carriers of the coronavirus, and under the supervision of doctors is 58 prisoners and guards.
“The Federal office very late and not very willing to update such statistics, even though the conditions every epidemic what prisons are one of the major contributors to the spread of diseases,” explained Professor and epidemiologist at Columbia University in new York, Seth Prince.
In 1997, researchers at the National Institute of health in Washington has really established that in the midst of the epidemic of HIV infection more than 20% of all patients at least once during one year visited the prisons. This list included not only prisoners and detainees, and visitors, guards and other prison staff.
On the number of contacts can be judged according to official statistics of the U.S. Department of justice: according to these data, only in 2017 places of detention in the country was visited by nearly 11 million people.
“The staff and visitors every day coming home, says Professor Prince. — The majority of prisoners convicted of minor transgressions: violations of traffic rules, failure to pay fines, and so on, so on average, according to statistics, they spend in prison less than a month, and then return to society.”
Thus, according to experts, the prisons and detention facilities are the perfect place to spread any disease.
“A small district prisons are usually overcrowded, there is poor ventilation, soap and other detergents is not enough, and social exclusion in such circumstances to ensure it is simply impossible,” — said Diego Ruiz, a lawyer from Cleveland, Ohio.
Another problem might be the fact that many prisoners in the United States just can’t pay for medical services. According to estimates of analysts and advocacy group Prison Policy Initiative of Massachusetts, in most States of the USA a visit to the doctor, tests or prescriptions will cost an inmate in the amount of from $2 to $5.
Given that in American prisons, inmates earn from 14 to 63 cents an hour, “the wild”, this amount will correspond to the payment of $200 or $500 in one visit to the doctor.
The threat of new epidemics in places of detention has already forced the authorities in almost all States the United States to take unprecedented measures. Back in early March, Federal prosecutors in California and Colorado announced that prison would be released almost all the defendants in nonviolent crimes. Vessels are also recommended to increase the number of inquiries from prisoners on parole.
In Ohio and Texas decided to release more than 200 prisoners who have come to the end of their assigned time.
Authorities in Florida, Washington and Alabama decided that local prisons have to leave convicted on charges of non-violent crimes, violation of traffic rules or rules of parole.
In new Jersey has decided to temporarily — only for the period of the epidemic — to release from prisons and detention centers almost half of the convicts in the state — 1,000 people. All of them on the first a judge and then going back to the places of detention.
The courts of Los Angeles promised in the coming weeks to release at least 1,700 people who have until the end of the appointed term of punishment was not more than 30 days. In addition, can be released elderly prisoners and prisoners with serious health problems.
At the same time police departments in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and several other States announced that it would reduce the number of arrests of offenders. Instead, the detainee will be issued warnings, fines or a court summons at a later date.
Because of this, only in the County of Los Angeles the number of arrests in recent weeks has dropped from the usual 300 to 60 per day.
The same steps are taken and Immigration service of the United States officially notifying the Congress to suspend the practice of arrests of illegal immigrants with the exception of cases deemed “critical to national security.”
In new York the Supervisory Board is responsible for the situation in penal institutions of the city, in mid-March called on the city authorities to immediately release all prisoners with serious health problems. The reason was the death from the coronavirus 56-year-old inspector of the Supervisory Board, who examined the situation in places of detention.
The Federal Bureau of prisons, the United States announced that every Federal prison in the country introduced mandatory two-week quarantine for new inmates, a ban on personal contacts with lawyers and prison visits relatives.
Hoping for the virus
Taken by the authorities of the USA measures a drastic reduction in the number of prisoners has caused a real surge of new petitions for clemency and reduction of terms. Among already have addressed with the corresponding petition, the former personal lawyer of President trump, Michael Cohen, the organizer of one of the largest pyramid schemes in U.S. history, Bernie Madoff and the former head of a drug cartel “Cali” Gilberto rodríguez Orejuela.
“He has very bad health, and he was 81 years old — said in the appeal to the court of lawyer David Marcus, representing the interests of ex-drug Lord, has already served almost half of the assigned 30-year sentence on charges of transportation of large consignments of drugs. — When COVID-19 strike on the prison in which he is, he wouldn’t stand a chance.”
81-year-old Bernie Madoff, serving a 150-year sentence for organizing pyramid schemes and the application of their investors damages in the amount of 17.5 billion dollars, in February asked for clemency, citing severe kidney disease. In an interview to several American TV channels and his lawyer, Brandon Semple said that the outbreak of coronavirus has already endangered the life of his client.
“The Federal prison system has repeatedly shown that it cannot withstand major crises,” he said.
Last week the pardon and translated under house arrest filed and the lawyer Michael Avenatti, representing the interests of porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed that she had an affair with Donald trump. According to the lawyer, his life in a prison in new York is under threat because his cellmate was taken to the hospital with symptoms of heavy colds.
The former personal attorney of the President of the United States Michael Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence for numerous financial offences, last week circulated in his Twitter a link to a petition calling immediately transfer all accused of non-violent crimes under house arrest.
He appealed personally to Donald Trump, saying that this step will allow prisons to make room for additional “essential” medical equipment for the treatment of infected.
“Without your intervention thousands have committed non-violent crimes will face a risk to life, although no one has sentenced them to capital punishment,” the lawyer wrote.
Sunday evening, March 29, at the East coast time USA did not sign the petition no one.
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