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Crime Judge orders Miami jail to give inmates soap, ensure social distancing to curb coronavirus

18:46  08 april  2020
18:46  08 april  2020 Source:   miamiherald.com

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  Harris County Judge Hildalgo to order releases at jail amid coronavirus crisis As a full-fledged coronavirus outbreak at the Harris County jail becomes increasingly likely, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she would be putting in an order for the release of some inmates. Officials have been struggling for more than a week to come up with a joint plan to release as many people from the county's third largest lockup as possible, focusing on inmates accused of nonviolent offenses. "We are not releasing anybody with a violent history," Hidalgo said at an afternoon press conference announcing the planned order.

A federal judge has ordered the Miami-Dade jail system to provide soap and cleaning supplies to those behind bars, ensure social distancing and explain what steps are being taken to protect already sick inmates from the coronavirus.

The ruling was handed down Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a group of “medically vulnerable” inmates at the MetroWest Detention Center, a county jail described by inmates as a “petri dish for the coronavirus.”

The lawsuit had asked for the immediate release of seven inmates suffering from a variety of medical issues. U.S. Judge Kathleen Williams didn’t go that far.

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  Inmates sue for soap and paper towels as coronavirus spreads in jails Prisoners are running out of soap and cleaning solution, then wiping their hands on their uniforms because paper towels aren't available. Detainees are using the same towels they use to clean jail cells to bathe and dry their hands. And there's no hand sanitizer allowed for prisoners. © Google Earth Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota, TX. That's the grim situation described in a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and DC public defender's service brought on behalf of four detainees and prisoners in Washington, DC's city jail on Monday.

Instead, she gave Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation until Thursday to explain, in writing, what measures are being taken to ensure the health of all inmates who suffer serious ailments including heart and lung disease, hypertension and compromised immune systems.

Also, she ordered that jailers “provide adequate spacing of six feet or more” between inmates to the “maximum extent possible” at the jail housing more than 1,800 inmates. The judge also ordered that each inmate get an “individual supply of soap, preferably liquid as recommended by the CDC,” as well as paper towels, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

Authorities across the country have been pushing people to keep away from crowds and frequently wash their hands to avoid spreading the highly contagious virus, which causes a disease that has killed thousands in the United States and largely shut down the nation’s economy.

Cuyahoga County Jail warden resigns amid investigations, while self-isolating from coronavirus concerns

  Cuyahoga County Jail warden resigns amid investigations, while self-isolating from coronavirus concerns CLEVELAND, Ohio-- Cuyahoga County Jail Warden Gregory Croucher resigned Thursday amid two investigations into his conduct, and just days after he went into the jail after his return from an overseas vacation without going through the county’s mandated coronavirus screenings. Croucher was hired as warden in August after the former jail warden, Eric Ivey, was charged and convicted of misconduct during a string of deaths at the jail in 2018. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Williams also ordered that Miami-Dade jail officers frequently wash their hands, wear masks and gloves when interacting with others — and change gloves before each time they must interact with an inmate.

Across South Florida, authorities have struggled with how to shield inmates — and the corrections officers who guard them in cramped jail and prison facilities — from COVID-19. So far, 15 corrections employees have tested positive for the virus. No inmates have tested positive, but only two have been tested.

The corrections department has said that it has already implemented many of those guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Friday, two days before the suit was filed, the department announced that all officers and inmates must wear masks.

In a statement on Tuesday, the county said the lawsuit ignored “proactive steps already implemented” by corrections.

Six Cuyahoga County Jail inmates ‘presumed positive’ for coronavirus, official says

  Six Cuyahoga County Jail inmates ‘presumed positive’ for coronavirus, official says CLEVELAND, Ohio-- Six inmates quarantined in the Cuyahoga County Jail are “presumed positive” for coronavirus, according to Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan. Madigan said she did not know if those six inmates received tests for the virus. Two other inmates are also being quarantined, but their status is unknown. Madigan said the county plans to give an update at Friday morning’s news conference. Jails and prisons are of particular concern to officials because inmates and officers can’t always adhere to social-distancing protocols needed to help stop the transfer of the coronavirus.

“As a result, the temporary restraining order entered today largely reiterates the steps already in place across the MDCR system,” the statement said.

As with first responders across the nation, Miami-Dade jail officers have struggled to obtain enough masks, gloves and other equipment that might help protect them from the virus. Officers have even resorted to making their own masks.

The lawsuit was filed by civil rights group the Dream Defenders, along with the Advancement Project National Office, Community Justice Project and Civil Rights Corps and GST LLP.

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©2020 Miami Herald

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The coronavirus has now infected employees at Miami's Federal Detention Center .
County, state and now federal -- the ranks of employees, and the inmates they guard across South Florida correctional facilities, are continuing to contract the novel coronavirus. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons is finally acknowledging that at least two employees at the Miami Federal Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19, according to its public coronavirus tracking website. A union official said Monday that a third officer at the Downtown Miami facility has also tested positive, and more are awaiting test results. The official, Jose Rojas, has been openly critical of how the Bureau of Prisons has handled the coronavirus crisis.

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