Legislators Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Prison Funding in COVID-19 Package

Legislators Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Prison Funding in COVID-19 Package title=
Federal Prison in Lompoc
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By edhat staff

Local legislators are urging Congressional leadership to quickly finalize a COVID-19 emergency response package including critical assistance for the Federal Prison in Lompoc.

On Monday, Congressman Salud Carbajal, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Kamala Harris wrote to House and Senate leadership advocating for funding for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in order to respond to the pandemic’s outbreaks in California prisons.

The letter emphasizes the need for funding to assist with testing, acquisition of personal protective equipment, and other efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s spread in federal prisons.

“We are concerned that BOP has not yet implemented universal testing or onsite testing for inmates and staff to stop the spread of the virus throughout the prison system or within our communities. We therefore urge you to work swiftly to ensure the necessary funds are made available to better equip the BOP in handling this crisis,” wrote the California lawmakers. “The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, with $200 million for the BOP to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks, over 10 weeks ago. Our communities cannot afford further delays.” 

A recent report from the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG) found significant shortcomings in Lompoc Prison’s COVID-19 response, including insufficient testing of inmates and staff.

The report states at the FCC Lompoc facility where all inmates were tested, the number of inmates testing positive for COVID-19 exceeded 75 percent as of May 11. Separately, as of early May, at least 53 of the 416 staff members at FCC Lompoc had been tested and approximately 60 percent (32 of 53) of those individuals tested positive.

As of Monday, the Senate has yet to confirm a new bill or extension for COVID-19 emergency response.

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yacht rocked Aug 11, 2020 06:35 AM
Legislators Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Prison Funding in COVID-19 Package

If you've ever dealt with government procurement regulations, you know it would take many months for the BOP to spend whatever money they get for COVID-19. They are used to buying steel pipe and instant mashed potatoes, not healthcare supplies and virus test equipment. The money should be given to an organization (gov't or NGO) that can provide this to BOP, not given to BOP directly.

Lucky 777 Aug 10, 2020 10:30 PM
Legislators Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Prison Funding in COVID-19 Package

Astounding statistic: "...at the FCC Lompoc facility where all inmates were tested, the number of inmates testing positive for COVID-19 exceeded 75 percent as of May 11." Seriously, is that the most recent statistic you can quote? AND does that imply that if universal testing were done in the general community the rate could be that high? The important thing is were those "positive" tests for the active presence of the disease, or for the presence of antibodies. A very different statistic. Hard to believe anything.

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