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Barr tells federal prisons to send inmates home in response to coronavirus outbreak

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, scene outside a Federal prison, MSNBC broadcast. 

 Attorney General William Barr has directed Federal prisoners to send inmates home in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This was reported by CBS News on March 27 at 9:35 am. A.G. Barr instructed the Bureau of Prisons to increase the use of house confinement. He stressed especially house confinement for older inmates and for inmates with underlying conditions. This was a move to mitigate the spread of coronavirus through the U.S. prison system. 

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CBS News reported that, as of Thursday morning, at least 10 inmates and eight staff members of the U.S. Federal prisons have tested positive for COVID-19. 

CBS News quoted A.G. Barr as follows, 

“There are particular concerns in this institutional setting. We want to make sure that our institutions don’t become Petri dishes and it spreads rapidly through a particular institution. We have the protocols that are designed to stop that and we are using all the tools we have to protect the inmates.”

Barr spoke Thursday in a virtual press conference. 

ABC News likewise followed up the story. ABC News stated that the Federal prison is moving to reduce the prison system population during the coronavirus outbreak to slow the spread of the disease. Barr has given the Federal prison systems recommendations to decrease these prisoner populations by moving some inmates to house arrest. Barr stated in his virtual press teleconference that of the 146,000 inmates serving time in Federal prison, at least one-third of them are believed to have pre-existing medical conditions. That is approximately 48,667 inmates with pre-existing conditions. There are also at least 10,000 of these inmates who are over 60-years-old. That means that there are approximately 50,000 inmates in the Federal prison system that would be at high risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19. 


Barr stated that employees who have committed violent or sex crimes will not be eligible for house arrest. This makes up about 40% of the population of those 10,000 inmates who are over 60-years-old. ABC News quoted A.G. Barr as follows, 

“My main interest is making sure that they’re safe to the community and that the situation they’re going into is likely to be safer than staying where they are where they have ready access to doctors and we can keep them in isolation.”

He is likewise quoted as stating the following, 

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“I don’t want people to think we’re doing it out of panic because we feel we’ve lost control.  We haven’t lost control but I’m still concerned that we keep each of these facilities from becoming vectors of infection. I’m not as worried in the federal system, at least from what I’m seeing now. I don’t want to be presumptuous and predict the future but I think the main thing is communication with the inmates and I think they’re communicating very well.”

ABC stated that the Federal system house arrest cull came in response to U.S. state prisons and jails taking similar measures across the Union. 

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