Today, a federal court ordered the Bureau of Prisons to remove people incarcerated at the Elkton federal prison due to the high risk of COVID19 infection. The opinion and order grants relief requested by a class action habeas petition filed on behalf of Elkton prisoners by Professor Mead, acting as a pro bono attorney, in collaboration with ACLU of Ohio and Ohio Justice and Policy Center. The Court concludes that prisoners at higher risk of complications from COVID19 have established that the Elkton prison has denied adequate opportunity to prevent the spread of infection, and that immediate action is needed to prevent further spread of COVID19. Already, 6 prisoners have died of COVID19 at Elkton.
Professor Mead comments, “People living in prison have Constitutional rights, too. This order will help ensure the well-being of prisoners, staff, and the surrounding community, while preserving our Constitutional obligations.”
The ACLU’s press release is available here: https://www.acluohio.org/archives/press-releases/federal-judge-orders-elkton-to-identify-prisoners-eligible-for-transfer-out-of-prison-following-class-action-habeas-petition-filed-by-aclu-of-ohio?c=183334
Press coverage of the decision is available here: https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/2020/04/federal-judge-orders-elkton-prison-officials-to-clear-out-vulnerable-inmates-because-of-coronavirus.html