BOP Still Transferring Inmates Between Facilities After 3 Inmates Test Positive for COVID-19

The Federal Docket

March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020.

According to internal documents obtained by ABC News, the BOP has continued to transfer inmates between facilities days after three federal inmates tested positive for coronavirus at two different facilities (FCC Oakdale in Louisiana and MDC New York).

While the BOP recently released a memo to staff notifying them that inmate movement would be suspended, there was qualifying language reserving the right to move inmates on a “case by case” basis. The BOP has continued to transfer some groups of inmates between facilities, however, without explanations. In one case, 12 inmates were transferred into FCI Tallahassee. There have also been transfers between facilities in New York and Pennsylvania.

Of course, some inmates have to be transported to court appearances and if they need to be hospitalized. But the news that inmates are still being transferred in large groups from facility to facility outside of these circumstances raises serious questions about safety and transparency.

The news is especially troubling in light of recent reports that that BOP facilities are low on hand sanitizer, soap, masks, gloves, and other supplies necessary to keep inmates and staff safe.

The Union for prison employees has urged officials to further limit inmate transfers during this pandemic.

To read the article at ABC News, click here.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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