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Concerns over prison conditions after Oakdale inmate dies from covid-19

Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 19:43:22-04

Days after an Oakdale inmate died from Covid-19, those with loved ones in custody, have concerns about the conditions.

Monday, the Bureau of Federal Prisons reported at least ten cases within the facility in Allen Parish. Saturday, in Oakdale, the nation's first federal inmate died from Covid-19.

Among the ten confirmed cases, there are 7 inmates and three staff members who are infected. However, according to The Washington Post at least 60 inmates are now in quarantine.

Some are now worried the coronavirus could rapidly spread inside of the facility. Arjeane Thompson's boyfriend, Brandon Livas , is serving time at Oakdale on theft charges. He's set to be released in a few months. However, Thompson fears what could happen in the mean time.

"He sits outside as long as he can all day and he say's all he's been doing is watching ambulances come and go," Thompson said. "Basically they have signs that says wash your hands and try to stay 6 feet away from each, but that's virtually impossible. Their bunk beds are mire feet away from each other. I've been calling the BOP filing complaints. I've been trying to do everything on my hand to get answers."

Health experts warn prisons that could be especially hard hit by the pandemic. Thompson meanwhile waits in her New Orleans home for updates from her boyfriend.

"These non-violent criminals should have a fair chance to survive this and within the settings they're in now, I don't think that's possible," Thompson said.

"So many women and family members haven't been able to hear from their loved ones in weeks. Knowing that people are dying in there, really sick and in solidarity confinement to keep the containment from going on , they have no idea the state of their loved ones."