Federal prisons reach critical milestones: 100 prisoners killed by coronavirus

The Federal Prison Bureau reached a serious milestone on Saturday: 100 prisoners have died Coronavirus Since the onset of the epidemic. Among the dead are fathers and mothers, daughters and sons and siblings – none of whom were sentenced to death.

The federal prison system has 122 facilities that house approximately 129,000 inmates throughout the country. According to the bureau, more than 10,000 inmates have tested one point positive for the virus, and more than 35,000 have been tested.

Three hundred of the female prisoners have died of the virus. The first was Andrea Circle Bear, a 30-year-old mother who gave birth to her sixth child while on a ventilator.

“I asked [hospital staff] If he too knew about the child and he said, ‘No, he’s on the ventilator,’ “Circle Beer’s grandmother, Clara LeBeau, told CBS News. ‘She never knew she had a child, and she never had a chance. child.”

Cern Bayer was convicted on drug charges after he was caught distributing methamphetamine from his home on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. In January, he was sentenced to 26 months in prison. In late April, she died after contracting coronovirus, about four weeks after the birth of her daughter.

In March, the bureau suspended the transfer of all prisoners in response to the epidemic. Despite this, the Circle Bears were transferred from Winner City Jail in South Dakota to Carswell, Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, on March 20, the bureau said in a release. A week later, she was sent to a local hospital about concerns about pregnancy.

Circle Beer was discharged, but two days later, on 31 March, he was sent back after suffering fever and dry cough. She was placed on a ventilator on 1 April, the same day she gave birth to her daughter, Alyssa Elizabeth Ann High Bear.

Three days later, Circle Beer tested positive for coronavirus. He died on 28 April. The bureau said Circle Bier had a “pre-existing medical condition that the CDC lists as a risk factor for developing more severe COVID-19 disease.”

LeBeau said she was not allowed to see Circle beer when she raised the child in Texas. During her granddaughter’s illness, she asks him never to receive word from the bureau updating her on the status of Circle Beer and she died as a surprise.

“I just hope that something can be done to help other families, where they won’t have to go through what I do,” LeBeau said.

The Prison Bureau declined an interview request with director Michael Carvajal and declined to comment as part of this story. The agency, according to its website, has modified several operations in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, including suspending all arrivals, placing and screening newly arrived prisoners in quarantine.

Jennifer Jones learned her father, Eric Spivak, died two days after receiving a call from an unknown North Carolina number. “It was a three-minute and 48-second conversation, and I think it would probably take me a full minute to realize that I am talking to my father.”

Jones said, “He’s gasping for breath and he’s like, ‘I’m sick.” She admits that a burner phone call came from within the prison and her father called her because she was his power of attorney, “she starts going through the list of everything she wanted me to do and she Not even getting the whole story. “

Spivak, 73, was serving a 15-year sentence in a low-security federal prison in Butner, North Carolina on child pornography charges, one of which was hit the most by the virus. Spinkak and 15 others died after contracting COVID-19, the bureau said, more than any other federal prison in the country.

Jones, who was close to his father, decided to distance himself from him about a year ago to work through his trauma related to operating Spike in the 80s. His sister was still communicating regularly with him, and it was he who received a phone call from the prison’s pastor, stating that his father had died.

“I had to take a step back altogether,” Jones explained. “For anyone who has ever lost to anyone, especially suddenly and without warning, you don’t know how much time you have until you have.”

Jones called the pastor two days after the phone call came in, and he said he had official communication with his family in jail about his father’s illness. Looking back, he is grateful for that little phone call with his father, because without it, he and his family would never know that his father was ill. It was the first time they had spoken in months, “We didn’t even get to say ‘I love you’ to each other.”

Many advocates have pushed for an extension or bureau of compassionate release to expand domestic imprisonment privileges among the prison’s overcrowded population. By reducing the number of inmates on the inside, they argue that prisons can use social discrimination practices and limit exposure.

Congressman Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois, has been vocal about his concerns over the prison system’s inability to practice social disturbances. “I think it’s condemnable, it’s unfathomable,” Rush said in response to the death of 100 prisoners. “It doesn’t make sense. Why are we playing Russian roulette with elderly, non-violent prisoners who pose no threat to society?”

In May, when the House passed the Hero Act, it included Rush’s Prison Phone Justice Act passed by the House, which would prevent inmates from paying commissions on phone calls, making them easier to keep in touch with their loved ones. Epidemic.

For Rush, it is personal. In 1972, a former member of the Black Panther movement was imprisoned for six months on charges of trumped-up weapons.

“I think that the Prison Bureau and the judicial system should recognize this serious problem and they should take steps as soon as possible to eliminate this problem and release these elderly prisoners.”

In March, Attorney General William Barr gave instructions Bureau to broaden home use among older prisoners with underlying conditions in response to the epidemic. Since then, he reported that more than 7,000 prisoners were released in the program.

Sharon Dolovich, law professor and director of the UCLA COVID-19 Bihrs Bars data project, said the figure is not enough.

“These are deaths that didn’t need to happen,” Dolovich said. “There were obvious steps that the BoP had available for several months that reduced the risk inside, and they have shown a total reluctance to take those steps. As a result, people are dying.”

Dolovich and his team of researchers Track virus cases Within the state and federal corrective facilities of the country. According to the project, as of Monday, more than 82,000 prisoners have been infected and 735 people have died. It said there were over 19,300 cases between the deaths of employees and 56 people.

The bureau reports that only one federal prison employee, Charlene Phillips, who was employed at Butner, died in June after contracting the virus.

The bureau does not, however, count the death of another staff member, Robin Grubbs, Who passed away in April. Grubbs, a 39-year-old case manager at the US Penitentiary in Atlanta, posthumously tested positive for the virus. However, the cause of his death was never determined due to COVID-19 as an autopsy was not completed.

Was grilled Promoted Just a month before her death, a role forced her out of an area that put her in close proximity with prisoners who were exposed to the virus. She was an Army Veteran and worked in prison for a decade.


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