Lawsuit Seeks US Federal Prison To Release Inmates Vulnerable To COVID-19 - Advocacy Group

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th April, 2020) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday filed a lawsuit against prison officials seeking that they release vulnerable inmates in the US the state of Louisiana after several deaths in the facility were related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"The legal team seeks the release of people who are incarcerated and at high risk for serious illness or death in the event of COVID-19 infection due to age and/or underlying medical conditions," ACLU said in a statement on situation at the Oakdale Federal Detention Center.

ACLU sued the facility's Warden Rodney Myers and Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Michael Carvajal.

"Oakdale prison has confirmed five coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic started - more than any other BOP facility," they said.

ACLU noted that US Attorney General William Barr's directive issued last week on the Oakdale Federal Prison is not effective.

"In this lawsuit, the ACLU argues this posture is too slow. The five people who have died in Oakdale all died after his directive was first issued," the statement said.

The ACLU requested immediate relief for medically vulnerable inmates and urged the prison authorities to ensure that inmates keep social distance needed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As of Monday afternoon, Louisiana recorded 13,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 477 deaths, the Johns Hopkins University real-time tracker revealed.