State urged to avoid another surge of virus in jails & prisons

Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 7:12 AM EDT
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Family members of incarcerated New Yorkers and corrections officers are calling on the state’s lawmakers and governor to improve conditions at prisons and jails ahead of the next COVID-19 surge or pandemic.

They say officials need to ensure prisons and jails won’t again face a staffing shortage, barriers to social distancing, and dangerous rationing of protective gear.

Testing of people with symptoms at the state’s prisons and New York City jails revealed thousands of COVID-19 infections among incarcerated individuals and guards, who called on the state and New York City to act at a Tuesday legislative hearing.

Unions and reform groups urged New York to require regular COVID-19 testing, improve ventilation systems, increase funding and hiring for correctional health care, and ensure all guards and inmates wear masks.

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