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Stop what’s going on inside federal prisons

DEAR EDITOR:

Frantic over the possibility that her incarcerated son has COVID-19 and is not being tested or properly treated, a mother of a federal inmate is desperately reaching out for help to anyone who will listen.

Her son is an inmate at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Lisbon. He is deemed low risk and has email privileges. He has written his mother and father that he is being quarantined, along with others, in an isolation unit at the prison. His symptoms include high temperature, shortness of breath, low blood oxygen level, vomiting and body and muscle pain, including severe headaches.

Elkton, an institution of more than 2,000 individuals, was allotted only five COVID-19 testing kits. A recent article confirmed that at least 80 inmates there have symptoms, and at least three have tested positive, with one death confirmed from the virus.

The parents of this inmate, who want to remain anonymous, have repeatedly tried for days to reach the facility with no success; the telephone rings with no answer. The Ohio Department of Health also has tried unsuccessfully to get through by telephone to the institution.

The parents are frantic. Their son should be given routine diagnostic exams, such as blood work and a chest X-ray as his symptoms could be caused from something other than COVID-19. He should be receiving oxygen treatments regardless. He should be tested for the virus. He should be released to a hospital where these medical procedures can be performed since our federal prisons seem unable to extend even the most basic of medical care to those for whom they are responsible.

At their last communication from him, none of these things were happening.

I believe keeping low-level inmates incarcerated during this health crisis is wrong.

Having only five testing kits available for a large prison, one where there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one already resulting in death, I believe also is wrong.

Failing to keep parents apprised of the condition of their ill son is cruel.

I believe what is happening in Elkton FCI and other such institutions is wrong.

SANDY ROZEK

National Association for

Rational Sexual Offense Law

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