One of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is limiting contact with others through social distancing measures. But in jails and prisons across PA, that luxury is not possible – and inmates are paying the price.
Pennsylvania's correction facilities have some of the highest infection rates in the country. The Morning Call reports that COVID infections in PA prisons are over 2 ½ times greater than the state's non-incarcerated population. To date, over 6,000 inmates and 2,000 staff members have tested positive.
While some prison administrations are trying to contain the spread of COVID, the measures are not enough to protect inmates and guards. Some prisons completely disregarded safety protocol by failing to screen staff members and not isolating those with the virus from the general population.
Despite ending communal meals and keeping inmates in their cells, PA prison administrations must upgrade their strategy to prevent more people from dying. At least 48 inmates lost their lives as a direct result of the virus as of January 2021.
Inmates Fight Back
Society stigmatizes people serving time, and they do not receive sympathy despite their helplessness behind bars. While multiple organizations exist to ensure that they receive their rights, the sheer scope of the issue makes it difficult to attend to every prison violation.
Inmates have a right to safety from COVID during incarceration – one that is now reaching the Supreme Court. Whether it's a failure to enforce necessary prevention protocol or mishandling its application, prisons are placing people's lives in danger.
One example of negligence is a corrections facility that allowed a kitchen worker to continue working despite having symptoms of the virus. In another facility, a corrections officer heard that some of her co-workers had the virus. It took weeks to hear about the issue from her work administration.
Due to the negligence and failure to protect inmates and staff members, inmates in prisons around the US are filing lawsuits against correctional facilities. Without protections and serious measures to counter the spread, more people are at risk of contracting COVID, and incarceration shouldn't mean facing death due to a lack of safety measures.
Litigation Against Prisons
Correctional facilities must follow medical guidelines and CDC recommendations to protect inmates from COVID-19. While jails and prisons may have logistics challenges, better testing and prevention measures can decrease infection rates with the right effort. Unfortunately, some prison administrators don't take these cases seriously unless they have a lawsuit on their hands.
If you have a family member or loved one in a PA prison with high COVID-19 infection rates, you still have options to protect them. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you fight back against a negligent prison or jail and prevent them from ignoring the seriousness of this health threat.
Your loved one does not have to be a victim of a prison's failure to protect them during a global pandemic. Call Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 if you suspect that a PA corrections facility is placing your loved one at risk.