by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
Today is Sunday, March 29th, 2020. This is a follow-up report to an Urgent Update that I released last Sunday, March 22nd, 2020. This specific report details recent events in regard to the Covid-19 Pandemic within Facilities Operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Please be advised that there has been a Deliberate Attempt by the Main-Stream Media and The White House to ignore the Deadly impact Covid-19 has been having on Amerika’s World Leading Prison Population.
On the morning of March 29th, 2020 I interviewed a Registered Nurse who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Nurse requested that I not use their name. I will respect this employees request to remain Anonymous.
It was reported to me that there have been 8 Positive Cases of Covid-19 at Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale which is located in Oakdale, Louisiana. FCI Oakdale is the “Sister Facility” to USP Pollock. Of the 8 Cases at FCI Oakdale, 6 are prisoners and 2 are B.O.P. employees. There has been One Death at FCI Oakdale connected to the Covid-19 Virus! There are 6 Prisoners currently on ventilators at the facility.
FCI Oakdale is approximately 30 miles from USP Pollock. FCI Oakdale is a Care Level 2 Facility. Care Level 2 is a designation which Alerts the Public as well as B.O.P. staff that the prisoners housed at Oakdale have greater health care needs and those prisoners are more vulnerable to catching the Covid-19 Virus. This is reflected in the 8 Cases and one Death I have described here.
Much closer to USP Pollock is the city of Alexandria, Louisiana. It has been reported to me that there are over 54 Cases of Covid-19 split between two Public Hospitals. The name of the Hospitals are Rapides and Cabrini Hospital.
Thus far, we have no reported cases of Covid-19 at USP Pollock. Employees at FCC Complex Pollock are screened for Covid-19 prior to entering the Complex daily. However, Mandatory Testing Has Not been initiated at USP Pollock except for those who show Symptoms after being Screened. The Virus continues to edge closer to USP Pollock and it will take more than Luck for us to Pre-empt the spread of the Virus.
On Friday–March 27th, 2020 —Prison Administrators here at USP Pollock approved the admittance of numerous prisoners from various Federal Detention Centers and County Jails in the Area. These New Admissions WERE NOT tested for Covid–19. Nevertheless, the prisoners were placed in Single Cells and placed on Quarantine for 14 days. The New Federal Prisoners
were housed on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock which is located on B-Building. B-Building is the same Building where I and many other Healthy Prisoners are Housed.
I spoke to a B.O.P. employee about the new arrivals and was told that the prisoners would be monitored closely for Covid-19 symptoms. I would like to point out that the Covid-19 virus can become AIRBORNE AND COULD SPREAD THROUGH THE HVAC SYSTEM WHICH CONNECTS WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL CELL THROUGHOUT B-BUILDING!
It is my opinion and the opinion of many prisoners here at USP Pollock that All New Commits should first and foremost be TESTED for Covid-19 BEFORE BEING BROUGHT INTO THIS ISOLATED AND STERILE ENVIRONMENT AT USP POLLOCK WHICH HAS REMAINED VIRUS FREE!
My Advocacy for Covid–19 Testing for All B.O.P. Employees and All B.O.P. Prisoners is grounded in Science and Fact Based Evidence. Inorder to Mitigate and Contain the Covid-19 virus, Testing and Technology must be implemented immediately. Technology can enable the Federal Government to perform Contact Tracing. By now we all know that a person can be infected with the Covid-19 Virus and Transmit the Virus Yet Show No Symptoms what-so-ever!
Testing alleviates all the guess work in assessing whether a prisoner or B.O.P. employee has been infected.
Numerous B.O.P. employees have said to me that they do not believe that the Federal Government has enough Covid-19 Test Kits available for the B.O.P. I ask that all human beings with a conscience help us contact prison officials here at USP Pollock as well as officials in Washington D.C. and INSIST THAT MASS COVID-19 TESTING BE DONE THROUGHOUT THE B.O.P. IMMEDIATELY.
Finally, it has been reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the B.O.P. to Release to Home Confinement Older Prisoners and those with chronic conditions who may be more vulnerable to contracting the Covid-19 Virus.
PLEASE I ASK ALL OF YOU READING THIS REPORT TO CONTACT THE B.O.P. AND ENCOURAGE THE AGENCY TO RELEASE ME AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!
It is my wish to aid the Editor of the San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper in preserving and sustaining this one of kind National Black Newspaper which serves the hundreds of thousands and literally Millions of prisoners trapped in Amerikan Prisons and Jails. I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME A CASUALTY OF THE B.O.P.’s FLAWED COVID–19 PANDEMIC STRATEGY! I will continue to Report. Be advised that USP Pollock is continually placed on Lockdown and my ability to Report continues to be obstructed and sabotaged. I WILL NOT EVER GIVE UP!!
Dare to struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!