Back on April 1st, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that it was putting its more than 170,000 inmates on a 14-day lock-down because – or so it claimed – it wanted to reduce the chance that any of them would contract the coronavirus.
Although it didn’t label it as such, the announcement was nothing more than a cruel April Fool’s Day joke.
Throughout the lock-down period, the BOP has done virtually nothing to protect those who are in its care and custody.
On the contrary, the BOP has done almost no testing on inmates.
Earlier today, U.S. District Judge Rachel Kovner ordered the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) to provide her with copies of its protocols for deciding which of its inmates should be tested.
She also ordered the facility to provide her with ongoing reports concerning the number of inmates being tested – and the number of inmates who tested positive – for COVID-19.
Judge Kovner’s orders were in response to MDC’s argument that the low number of inmates testing positive for the disease was an indication that COVID-19 is not widespread at the facility (According to MDC’s reports, only 3 inmates had tested positive as of April 9th).
Public advocates and criminal defense attorneys have been arguing for weeks that the low number of MDC inmates testing positive was simply an indication that the facility had only tested a handful of inmates.
“It’s important that the MDC disclose their testing protocols, particularly because it appears that the lack of adequate testing obscures the problems in that facility, as we have heard several reports of symptomatic people at the MDC who are not being tested”, said Betsy Ginsberg, who represents incarcerated MDC inmates in the case before Kovner.
Judge Kovner also ordered MDC to disclose the number of “Sick-Call Requests” that inmates had submitted during the period from March 13th through April 13th.
“Evidence of the number of inmates submitting sick-call requests based on symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is relevant to assessing the likely prevalence of COVID-19 within a facility where few tests have occurred”, Kovner wrote.
Internal Email From Guards Union at MDC Reveals What’s Really Going
An April 9th email from Rhonda Barnwell, the vice president of the union that represents MDC’s guards, indicates that even the few inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were only held in quarantine for a few days.
“Why do we have 2 inmates who tested positive on regular housing units J-73 and G-43?” Barnwell wrote in her email, referring to two of the cell blocks within the jail, which each hold about 70 men. “These inmates were released to general population even before 7 days of quarantine. Why aren’t those housing units on quarantine with appropriate PPE” — personal protective equipment — “for staff?”
Barnwell’s email also described several other dangerous conditions at MDC. One such allegation is that staff who have been in direct contact with inmates who have tested positive – or who are symptomatic – are not being quarantined. Another allegation is that when MDC staff are diagnosed with COVID-19 – as nine have been as of April 9th – other staff who have been in direct contact with them are not even notified, much less quarantined.
The president of the union, Anthony Sanon, also claimed that the guards at MDC are being forced to work in unsafe conditions.
“I’ve been pleading with the agency to give us N95 masks — they have close to 3,000 in the institution but they’re keeping them in locked closets”, Sanon said. “That’s absurd. To put the lives of these men and women sworn to protect the community is a crime itself. Instead, they’re giving us regular surgical masks. They’re throwing us into ground zero, with zero protection.”
Meanwhile, Raniere Is Hiding Out in Quarantine
Unlike most federal inmates throughout the country who have been trying to avoid being put into quarantine because they don’t want to be near those who are infected, Federal Prisoner 57005-177 – formerly known as Keith Alan Raniere – actually requested that he be placed in such a unit.
That’s why he’s currently being housed with 8 other inmates who have shown symptoms of COVID-19.
And why, you ask, did Raniere do that?
Was he being assaulted – or threatened with physical violence – by other inmates?
Were inmates continuing to break and steal his eyeglasses?
Were guards harassing him by continually tossing his cell in search of contraband?
None of the above…
According to our sources at MDC, he actually asked to be placed in quarantine because he was tired of the non-stop teasing he was getting from both the guards and other inmates.
Seriously…and just wait until you hear just what those meanies were doing to poor Vanguard.
Some were calling him “Professor” – and others were addressing him “Doctor” – apparently in reference to his prior claim of being “the smartest man in the world”.
Others had the audacity to question why he hadn’t come up with a cure for COVID-19?
And the really, really mean ones were actually telling him straight to his face that he’s nothing but a “bullshit con man”.
Don’t these villains know how easily Keith’s feelings can get hurt?
Don’t they realize he’s used to being venerated?
Don’t they know he used to have a harem of women who would do anything he asked – even brand their pussies with his initials?
Don’t they know he used to be the Vanguard?
Apparently, the answer to all those questions is “NO”.
Seriously, does anyone think that Raniere is going to survive once he gets to a real prison?