GEORGE FLOYD LOCKDOWN: Federal Bureau Of Prisons Locks Down Prisoners

After protests broke out in response to George Floyd’s death, the agency ordered the first nationwide lockdown in 25 years.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons ordered prisoners confined to cells and stripped of outside communications.

“You’re kind of confirming why we’re in the situation we’re in as a country, where the rage has erupted because people are sick of the oppression, particularly against minorities. Cops were comfortable with the actions they were taking against George Floyd with someone filming so closely.”

“Just imagine what goes on inside prisons.”

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WONDERFUL BREAKING NEWS: Willie Mae Harris Is Going Home!

Clemency is one of several mechanisms to relieve overcrowded prisons and reward prisoners for their behavior while incarcerated.

Since taking office four years ago, Hutchinson has granted clemency to roughly 500 people. Just one person who received clemency, Shirley Danner, was convicted of first-degree murder.

In the early 1970s, Danner was working as a sex worker when she shot a man who attemped to date underage girls. In 1975, Danner was sentenced to life in prison.

The parole board recommended her for release at least 17 times before Hutchinson approved her clemency petition in April 2019.

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ARKANSAS PRISON EMERGENCY

Arkansas allows employees who test positive for COVID-19 to continue working in the state’s prisons.

Despite warnings from health experts about the dangers of asymptomatic transmissions, Arkansas prison officials are permitting some staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working.

In a court document filed Monday on behalf of 11 state prisoners, attorneys allege that the Arkansas Department of Corrections (DOC) is allowing employees who are confirmed to have the disease to return to work as long as they are asymptomatic and wear a face mask.

The document was filed as part of a federal lawsuit over inadequate protective conditions within the state’s prisons. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed the policy, which was first reported Monday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

In an email, spokesperson Solomon Graves provided state health department guidelines from April 15 that say staff members can return to work in places where there is a “critical shortage of workers and critical activities cannot occur without the use of these workers.”

Employees are only allowed to work at facilities where prisoners have tested positive, according to the guidelines. Currently, there is one facility—the Cummins Unit—that meets this criteria.

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OPEN SEASON ON THE INCARCERATED

Prisoners feel like they are ‘sitting ducks,’ said a woman whose boyfriend is incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Facility.

On Sunday, the Delaware Department of Correction announced that a second person in its custody had died due to complications from COVID-19.

The prisoner, Robert Francisco, tested negative for the novel coronavirus twice before he was transported to a hospital, where he was confirmed to have the disease. He died on Saturday evening at the age of 79.

His death was preceded by Joseph Russo, a 73-year-old prisoner who also tested negative for the disease twice before being confirmed to have had it.

As the pandemic began to spread across the U.S. in March, advocates called on the DOC and Governor John Carney to provide prisoners with protective equipment and release them to help stop the spread of an outbreak they feared would be inevitable.

People over 60, like Francisco and Russo, were among people most in need of being freed, they said.

Those releases never came. While confirmed American cases climbed and jails and prisons emerged as epicenters this month, Carney and DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis challenged calls to change their practices and said that they do not support releasing prisoners.

In a video interview with State Senator Darius Brown as part of a virtual town hall earlier this month, DeMatteis said, “You’re going to release them into a society that has thousands of cases, so I don’t follow the logic and I don’t see why, because of a virus, it’s a reason to release inmates.” She added, “The people who are saying ‘release inmates’ would say that if you had a virus or not, and they’re using COVID-19 as an excuse. I just don’t follow the logic.”

Carney said in a press conference earlier this month that he did not think that releasing prisoners is “necessary,” citing a reduction in the state’s prison population, according to a Delaware Online report. “There’s more room to spread the inmates out,” Carney said. “There are facilities where we can quarantine and isolate inmates who are COVID-19 positive.”

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