Civil liberties groups are are suing a state governor and the prison establishment because a single prison in Arkansas USA has for more than a third of that state’s total number of coronavirus cases at 22 April 2020.
At least 681 cases are confirmed in the prison, out of the state’s approximate total of 2300, illustrating the danger the pandemic poses in close-quarter correctional facilities.
The Cummins Unit, located roughly 50km from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, had its first confirmed coronavirus case on 11 April. With more than half of the jail’s roughly 1200 inmates confirmed positive for the virus, it has one of the highest-known per capita infection rates of any jail or prison in the USA.
Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the law firm Squire Patton Boggs and a number of other groups have sued Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Corrections, asking that high-risk inmates there be released or allowed into home confinement during the pandemic.
The lawsuit alleges that keeping the inmates in prison violates the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. – Al Jazeera https://tinyurl.com/ya4hebar