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Concern for inmate safety grows following recent death of La prisoner

7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 March 31, 2020 8:18 AM March 31, 2020 in News
Source: KATC
FCC Oakdale in Louisiana

ALLEN PARISH - Concerns related to the health and safety of inmates continue to grow following the coronavirus-related death of an Oakdale inmate.

KATC reports that on Monday, the Bureau of Federal Prisons issued a statement regarding at least ten cases within the facility in Allen Parish and on Saturday the nation's first federal inmate died from Covid-19 in Oakdale.

Among the ten confirmed cases, are seven infected inmates and three infected staff members. But The Washington Post reports that at least 60 inmates are now in quarantine.

Families and friends of those within the facility worry that the virus will see a rapid spread among inmates and staff. 

Arjeane Thompson's boyfriend, Brandon Livas , is serving time at Oakdale on theft charges. He's set to be released in a few months. However, Thompson fears what could happen in the meantime.

"He sits outside as long as he can all day and he say's all he's been doing is watching ambulances come and go," Thompson said. "Basically they have signs that says wash your hands and try to stay 6 feet away from each, but that's virtually impossible. Their bunk beds are mire feet away from each other. I've been calling the BOP filing complaints. I've been trying to do everything on my hand to get answers."

Health experts warn prisons are especially susceptible to pandemics like this one.  

Thompson meanwhile waits in her New Orleans home for updates from her boyfriend.

"These non-violent criminals should have a fair chance to survive this and within the settings they're in now, I don't think that's possible," Thompson said.

"So many women and family members haven't been able to hear from their loved ones in weeks. Knowing that people are dying in there, really sick and in solidarity confinement to keep the containment from going on , they have no idea the state of their loved ones."

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