NYC federal prisons must report coronavirus infections twice a week to court

Kimberly Dole
April 02, 2020 - 3:42 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Federal prisons in New York City must provide courts with coronavirus infections status reports twice a week going in lieu of the flood of applications for release of vulnerable inmates, EDNY Chief Judge Roslynn Mauskopf ruled on Thursday.

    Each status report must contain protocols for screening and testing inmates, staff and others entering or leaving the facility, the number of inmates tested, the number of inmates that tested positive, the number of staff tested and the number of staff that tests positive.

    All efforts taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus must be included as well.

    Prisons including Queens Detention Facility, Metropolitan Correctional Center and Metropolitan Detention Center must provide reports starting 12p Friday.

    Earlier this week, public defenders filed a lawsuit demanding the immediate release of nearly 540 "medically vulnerable" prisoners from Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center in order to prevent them from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Lawyers for MDC inmates alleged that the facility’s warden has identified 537 prisoners out of the roughly 1,700 housed there as having an elevated risk of catching the virus.

    Deidre von Dornum of the Federal Defenders of New York wrote in court papers that she was "deeply concerned" that clients will be" exposed, sickened, or potentially face serious illness or death because of MDC’s inadequate and slow response to this public health crisis, and its lack of medical facilities."