Inmates riot after over a dozen cases of COVID-19 infections are confirmed, and authorities do nothing.
On Thursday 9th of April 50 inmates at the Lansing correctional facility in Kansas rioted shortly after it was announced that 14 staff and 12 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19.
From the Guardian
Prison officials thwarted an uprising of dozens of inmates at the Lansing correctional facility in Kansas on Friday, the latest example of unrest in US prisons amid concern about rising numbers of coronavirus infections among inmates.
The prisoners ransacked offices, broke windows and set small fires for several hours before the facility was secured. Randy Bowman, spokesman for the Kansas department of corrections, confirmed to the Associated Press that the incident began on Thursday afternoon in a medium-security cell house.
By late evening, some inmates had given up or gone back to their cells. The Lansing corrections department recently reported more than a dozen staff and 12 inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 at the facility.
The Kansas uprising comes as inmates nationwide protest against responses to coronavirus outbreaks at several prison facilities.
The coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease Covid-19, has spread through the US’s overcrowded system with federal, state and local facilities housing 2.2 million people.
Nationwide, more than 16,600 people have died from Covid-19 among the general population and nearly 475,000 positive cases have been confirmed. Despite governor-mandated “stay-at-home” orders in most states, inmates remain vulnerable.
Most live at close quarters and have to purchase their own basic sanitation supplies. Many facilities have reported a lack of proper protective equipment amid the outbreak. In New York City jails, 288 inmates, 488 staff and 78 prison healthcare workers had tested positive for the virus by Wednesday, according to the New York Times.
The ACLU has petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court to immediately release prisoners who have pre-existing medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the coronavirus. That class action petition is on behalf of seven inmates at prisons, including the Lansing facility.