Alice Lundell of the OJRC
David Hart Contracts COVID19
We talk this week with Alice Lundell of the Oregon Justice Resource Center regarding the ongoing status of a federal class lawsuit filed on behalf of their clients who are incarcerated at four Oregon prisons, against the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) and Governor Kate Brown. Since our first discussion, a month ago one of the seven Plaintiff's, David Hart, has contracted COVID19 and is currently in a segregation/isolation unit due to having contracted COVID19. At that same prison we also received news of the first death of an inmate due to COVID19 in ODOC, only listed as a man in his 50s. We will discuss these ongoing developments as well as changes in the lawsuit reflecting the reality that compensation for contracting COVID19 has already become a reality for many incarcerated persons in ODOC.
The plaintiffs in the OJRC lawsuit as well as most prisoners and family members of persons incarcerated at ODOC are concerned that COVID-19 poses a serious risk to the health of all who live and work in Oregon’s prisons. There are many reasons why incarcerated people and those who work with them may be especially vulnerable to outbreaks of infection, including living at close quarters to one another, unsanitary conditions, poor health, and the large numbers of people who cycle through the system. Prisons are not built to adequately withstand a global pandemic; ODOC is not equipped or resourced to handle a public health crisis of this magnitude. We will also discuss the probable reality that COVID19 is already widespread within the prison system, speculation in part due to a lack of testing of most of Oregon's 14,000 incarcerated persons and due to reports within the prisons of COVID even in places where officials say there are no documented cases of COVID19.
Prison Pipeline is a radio program dedicated to educating the public about the Oregon criminal justice system. Our goal is to present a unique understanding of the criminal justice system, address the root causes of crime, and challenge the status quo. We seek to promote awareness and activism in order to foster a safe, healthy, and just society.Tune in every Monday at 6:30 P.M. to hear our hosts Karen James, Adam Carpinelli, Amy Johnson, Emma Lugo, Doug McVay and Isabelle Sinclar explore the Oregon justice system with a variety of guests.
Oregon Justice Resource Center Covid 19 information: http://www.ojrc.info/covid19
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