While we’re all being advised to maintain social distancing, inmates in a prison in our area say it’s increasingly difficult to stay healthy while locked up. We spoke to one woman who’s concerned her husband may not make it out alive.
"You have inmates sick serving food, you have inmates coughing, you can't protect yourself, it's rampant in there," said Keosha Legree, whose husband is incarcerated in the FCI Otisville prison. "It's like a petri dish waiting to explode."
Legree’s husband Omar White has been serving a 10-year sentence in the federal prison in Otisville, NY, with less than 70 days left. When she learned of the coronavirus pandemic she began to worry.
"My husband has chronic lung asthma and he has one lung due to a birth defect, so when I saw it was affecting the lungs I immediately went crazy," said Legree.
Legree says conditions inside the prison are dire.
"The governor says social distancing," said Legree. "How can you social distance when you're on top of each other; you look right next to each other the next person is dying or coughing with no protection, no medical equipment, no medicine, no hand washing, no nothing."
Legree reached out to the prison to ask what they were doing to keep her husband safe. They responded Thursday morning telling her, “FCI Otisville is implementing the Bureau of Prisons’ guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 … The current plan continues to allow for inmate transfer to pre-release custody. As they near their release all inmates are reviewed on an individual basis to determine their eligibility for a period of pre-release confinement, including placement on home confinement.”
She also found out her husband was given a mask and gloves, but she still hopes he can be released early to mitigate his risk.
"If they have less than two months or three months let them come home, let them be on home confinement," said Legree.
We reached out to the Bureau of Prisons and Otisville for more information about conditions in the facility and what they are doing to protect inmates but are still awaiting a response.