Pollock F.C.I. union rep writes letter to Attorney General Barr about COVID-19 positive inmates being transferred into prison

Says all inmates should be quarantined and tested before being transferred to another prison
A union rep for Pollock F.C.I. says inmates transferred to the prison from other facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
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POLLOCK, La. (KALB) - An employee and union rep of the Pollock Federal Correctional facility is speaking out about conditions at the prison. Anthony Koeppel, treasurer of the AFGE local 1034 union, tells us that the Pollock prison had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the facility through late July. That’s changed in recent days after the U.S. Marshal Service began transferring prisoners into the facility from a prison in Oklahoma.

Now six of those inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Koeppel says the inmates being brought in from other prisons by the marshal service are not being quarantined and then tested before being brought into Pollock, unlike the Bureau of Prisons, that now tests inmates before making transfers.

Koeppel has written a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr with the Department of Justice, asking Barr to mandate that any inmate coming into any BOP facility be tested and quarantined before being transferred, to make sure positive inmates aren’t coming into a prison. “This raises a huge concern for the staff, our families, the inmate population and of course for the surrounding communities of Central Louisiana. Whenever staff comes home at the end of the day to spread this virus,” says Koeppel.

There are 700 employees and 2,500 inmates at the Pollock Federal Correctional Institute. According to the BOP website, there are also 15 active cases of COVID-19 among prison staff.

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