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State lawmakers urge Bureau of Prisons to take action at Oakdale Prison

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Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 19:39:06-04

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and Sens. John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, M.D. sent a letter to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Tuesday urging that the agency take decisive action to address the COVID-19 outbreak at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale.

According to the letter, the lawmakers seek answers to specific questions regarding the bureau's plans to mitigate the spread of COVD-19 to inmates, officers and staffers.

“We recognize these are challenging times for the Bureau of Prisons, but the situation at Oakdale FCI is unacceptable," said Johnson in a release about the letter. "The BOP must take decisive action to protect the health and safety of the staff, officers, prison population and surrounding community"

“What goes on at this federal prison affects inmates, staff and the broader Oakdale community," said Kennedy in the release. "We need answers about what happened in Oakdale and how the Bureau of Prisons is going to mitigate this outbreak.”

“We must contain coronavirus wherever we find it," said Cassidy in the release. "This is for the safety of the support staff, guards, law enforcement, their families and all others concerned in Oakdale. Our letter seeks more information on how the Bureau of Prisons is working to that end.”

As of April 2, a total of 4 inmates have died at Oakdale due to complications from COVID-19.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Oakdale Federal Detention Center in Oakdale and the federal Bureau of Prisons over COVID-19 infections at the prison earlier this week.

The signed letter can be viewed here.