Judge won’t release medically vulnerable inmates from lockup


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to order release of medically vulnerable prisoners from a Louisiana jail to prevent them from getting ill with the new coronavirus.

The Advocate reports that the judge was acting in an ongoing lawsuit over conditions at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson last week rejected the call for immediate release. And he disagreed with claims that no steps are being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the lockup.

Among the steps Jackson cited were new screening and hygiene procedures, distribution of masks and cleaning supplies and efforts by police and prosecutors to reduce the jail population by reducing arrests and resolving cases.

The federal lawsuit will proceed issues of whether the jail’s conditions and its health care program are constitutional.

“We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling. We think people need to be released immediately for their safety,” said David Utter, an attorney on the case. “But we look forward to proceeding to next steps of this important case.”

By: Associated Press

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