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Oakdale inmate dies of COVID-19

Louisiana hopes to reduce inmates returning to prison
Posted at 11:21 AM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 12:21:34-04

By ROBIN MCDOWELL and MARGIE MASON
Associated Press

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Saturday the first federal inmate has died of COVID-19; he was a prisoner in the Oakdale prison.

Officials said Patrick Jones had been housed at FCI Oakdale I, a prison in Louisiana and had "long-term, pre-existing medical conditions."

Health experts say prisons and jails are considered a potential epicenter for America's coronavirus pandemic. They are little cities hidden behind tall fences where many people share cells, sit elbow-to-elbow at dining areas and are herded through halls to the yard or prison industry jobs. They say that it's all but nearly impossible to keep 6 feet away from anyone. Medical services behind bars have long been substandard and even hand sanitizer is considered contraband in some facilities because of its alcohol content.

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