After Louisiana women's prison flooded in 2016, temporary dorms inundated with coronavirus | Coronavirus |

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Elizabeth Latson, 39, inmate in the Women's Correctional Facility in Louisiana, lives in the former Jason Youth Center in Baker. She is beside the bed in the dormitory room, where there are about 40 bunk beds, one arm apart. February 2, 2019. On this day, the dormitory accommodated 71 prisoners. Flooding in August 2016 shut down LCIW's facilities in San Gabriel.

On Friday, April 2, 2019, one of the four dorms for female inmates at the Louisiana Correctional Facility in Baker’s former Jason Youth Center facility had some of the 40 bunk beds, most of them The distance between them is just an arm away. On this day, there were 71 prisoners in the dormitory.

The Louisiana Women’s Correctional Facility Warden, Frederick Bout, met at the former Jetson Youth Services Center in Baker on Friday, April 12, 2019. After the August 2016 flooding closed the facility, the meeting was previously held in San Francisco. Some prisoners of Gabriel LCIW were transferred there. The floods forced the residents of LCIW to be resettled in multiple locations, including Jetson, which posed challenges to logistics and staffing, disrupted routine work, and often made it more difficult for staff there and imprisoned women.

Teacher Dana Blain, left, supervises female prisoners in the Louisiana Correctional Facility as they moved their lunch from the van to the dormitory and other locations on Friday, April 12, 2019. The prison is located in Baker’s former Jie Sen Youth Center, where some of the prisoners had previously lived. After the August 2016 flood closed the San Gabriel factory, the LCIW of the factory was relocated.

In a huge room, full of metal bunk beds in a row, separated by an arm, there are 70 women sharing three toilets and four sinks. In female prison dormitories that have been flooded by coronavirus cases, there is no social isolation.

The high number of cases in the past few weeks has prompted officials from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to conduct large-scale tests in two female prison facilities in the state. In one building, 87% of prisoners tested positive for the coronavirus. The ratio of the other is more than 60%. Many cases are asymptomatic.

At the same time, so far, Louisiana’s men’s prisons appear to have avoided such major outbreaks, although limited testing at these facilities may have masked the scope of the problem. Officials say that large-scale tests have not been conducted on male prisoners because the number of cases is not high enough. Of course, it may change in the future.

Male prisoners who test positive are usually transferred to separate cells or other remote areas. Their guardian said, but these options are not widely used in women's facilities.

This is because since the state's only female prison overflowed in 2016, many female prison populations in Louisiana have been placed in densely populated temporary shelters, and more than 1,000 prisoners have been displaced.

Initially, about 1,000 women who were flooded in the Louisiana Women’s Prison in San Gabriel in 2016 were told that they would temporarily...

Of the 32,000 state prisoners in Louisiana, women account for only 5%: about 1,600 statewide. Hundreds of displaced female prisoners are now divided into a former male prison building at the San Gabriel Elan Hunt Correctional Center and the Old Jason Youth Center in Baker.

According to correction officials, they are divided into disease and health "queues" in both places. Officials said that when sleeping, women are required to "place their heads and feet alternately on adjacent bunks to increase the breathing area."

A year ago, before the coronavirus pandemic, the Louisiana Women's Correctional Institution complained that the temporary residence in Hunter was inappropriate. Frederick Boutté said at the time: "These women actually live on top of each other." "Compared with other state institutions, these women are trapped.... I don't think these are the best conditions. "

State correction officials said the female prison population density in Hunter and Jetson last week was close to the male prison population density in some dormitories in Louisiana prisons in Angola. Officials said that both exceeded the nationally recognized standards of the American Correctional Association. State correctional officials did not directly answer questions about why the number of female prisoners is higher.

State Correction Spokesperson Ken Pastorick said in a statement: “No one can foresee that within four years, Louisiana will lose its only female prison and face such a massive global scale. Sexual pandemic." "We are fortunate to have enough prison space to accommodate the female population of DOC in Louisiana before the prison facilities are funded and rebuilt."

The return of prisoners from women’s correctional institutions to their permanent housing took much longer than expected. The state initially planned to clean up and renovate the flooded prison and spent millions of dollars before it finally determined that the site was irretrievable and required federal funding for reconstruction and reconstruction. Construction is now expected to begin in the next few months.

Six months ago, the prisoners waded from the Louisiana Women’s Correctional Facility, each holding two laundry bags, as a flood...

In the old Louisiana Women’s Correctional Facility, most of the inmates were placed in two rooms, each with its own door and basic privacy: bathroom stalls instead of freestanding toilets, separate showers instead The communal shower head.

Prisoners' rights activists believe that the ongoing pandemic highlights the overcrowding of women imprisoned in Louisiana for many years. These advocates say this is the latest example of the neglect of female prisoners in the criminal justice system that specifically targets men.

"The first thing to pay attention to is how the women got there: the flood." Ivy Mathis said she was first imprisoned in women’s corrections work, then in Hunter, and then in 2018 Released. The situation has never been corrected. "

Officials first conducted a large-scale test in Hunter’s female dormitory and found that 87% of about 200 women were infected. Then, officials also tested everyone in Jetson, and the results showed that about 62% of the nearly 300 prisoners were infected with the coronavirus. These are the first known examples of large-scale tests conducted across the state.

Two female prisoners died of the coronavirus. Twelve of the male prisoners in Louisiana died, all in Angola, where there are more than 6,000 prisoners.

At the same time, plans to rebuild the LCIW plan are also in progress. Pastorick said that the funding for the $100 million project has finally been determined, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency providing $43 million and the rest from state funds and bonds.

Officials expect construction to begin in late 2020 or early 2021, and estimate that the project will take two years to complete. The result-officials call it "an advanced prison with 964 beds combined with best practices from all over the country"-will be based on a higher foundation.

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According to the latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health, 33,904 people in Louisiana have recovered from the novel coronavirus.


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