Monday, April 6, 2020

Report on SCI :100s.of Elderly and Infirm packed in


                                   
STANLEY IS A TICKING TIME BOMB- hundreds of elderly prisoners packed in
 Stanley is a ticking time bomb of disease, infection and death. There are hundreds of elderly and immune-compromised prisoners in Stanley, those most likely to die from COVID-19. How many will be left in cells to live or die by the strength of their immune system? There are not enough hospital beds in this rural area to meet the needs of free people. You can be sure hundreds of infected prisoners will not be transferred to hospitals for treatment. It is simply not feasible even if there was adequate bed space.
The only answer is to implement restrictions before COVID-19 comes to Stanley because once it does, it will be impossible to manage."

HARLAN RICHARDS (37975) COVID-19 Stanley Update
          Friday at noon Hi Peg, There are no known COVID-19 infections in Stanley at this time. The intake unit is under quarantine because the DOC refuses to stop inter- prison transfers. Yesterday a prisoner was transferred in who had contact with the prison doctor in Waupun who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. I wrote 2 blogs and will paste them here. The first blog was written before Stanley started doing anything. The second was written yesterday. They have now got on this 6 feet of separation requirement which is impossible in here. We are packed together, 100 per housing unit wing. All dayroom tables seat 4 people and when they serve meals we all line up butt to belly to get our trays. There are 3 wings in each housing unit and they run us all through the chow line, one wing after another. Then they go through the farce of stating that they want 6 feet of separation when we go to school, chapel or library, yet we all walk down narrow hallways packed together until we get to our destination where we then separate by 6 feet. Surreal!

Anyway, here are the blogs I posted:

  "H A R L A N    R I C H A R D S Blog post 1 March 12, 2020/  What Happens When COVID-19 Comes to Stanley?
        I've been watching the progress of COVID-19 and listening to the advice of health experts and making note of the precautions being taken throughout the U.S. What I don't see is Stanley prison taking any steps to prevent COVID-19 from coming into Stanley or a feasible action plan to isolate infected prisoners.
        The current procedure for infected/contagious prisoners is to confine the sick prisoner and his cellmate to the same cell for a period of time. For flu, it is 7 days.  When a prisoner contracts COVID-19, how is he going to be isolated? Lock him and his cellmate in the same cell? There are no single cells and no way to isolate an infected prisoner. Finding one infected prisoner will guarantee that at least 2 prisoners will contract COVID-19 because there's no way the cellmate will be able to avoid infection confined in a cell with a sick prisoner. What happens when the cellmate is elderly or immune-compromised? Death most likely. The easy answer for prison administrators is to simply not test any prisoners. That way, they will have plausible deniability and no one will ever be able to prove there was a COVID-19 outbreak in Stanley.
       There has been no procedure set up to screen staff or visitors before entering the prison. When Stanley quarantined prisoners for 2 weeks because of the norovirus, prisoners were still routinely transferred in and out of Stanley. When COVID-19 comes to the prison system in one prison, the administration's refusal to halt transfers will guarantee that all the prisoners will be exposed. If they think it's hard to staff the prisons now, what will happen when going to work every day will mean playing Russian Roulette with COVID-19?
     Who will get protective equipment? Staff only? What will prisoners who are not yet infected do when they see staff wearing protective gear while they must be daily exposed to possible death via COVID-19?
     Yet with this dire situation all but certain to occur, school classes are still being held and all other activities - including a scheduled spring concert - are still planned. Free world schools are going online to cut down on transmission, sporting events are being cancelled and all large gatherings are restricted. All it takes is one infected person to come in here and infect one prisoner. From there it will explode in this land-locked equivalent of a cruise ship. We are over 1500 prisoners packed into a prison built for 750. The DOC merely redefined the prison as a double-occupancy prison, welded another bed into each single cell and suddenly it became a 1500 bed prison.
        Stanley is a ticking time bomb of disease, infection and death. There are hundreds of elderly and immune-compromised prisoners in Stanley, those most likely to die from COVID-19. How many will be left in cells to live or die by the strength of their immune system? There are not enough hospital beds in this rural area to meet the needs of free people. You can be sure hundreds of infected prisoners will not be transferred to hospitals for treatment. It is simply not feasible even if there was adequate bed space.
The only answer is to implement restrictions before COVID-19 comes to Stanley because once it does, it will be impossible to manage."

      "H A R L A N   R I C H A R D S/March 19, 2020 COVID-19 Preparedness In Stanley Prison
        Last week I speculated about COVID-19 coming to Stanley. Now I'd like to tell about what preparations are being made.
       On Friday March 13, 2020, the entire prison system suspended visitors and volunteers from entering prisons.
       This week, Stanley has introduced new sanitation procedures throughout the prison: cleaning and bleaching all areas multiple times per day and limiting how many prisoners can attend chapel or library or school classes. However, cleaning is not what they need to do.
      Prisoners are still being transferred into Stanley every week. I used to go to the intake unit to do part of the orientation. I sent a letter on Sunday notifying the program director that I would no longer do that during the COVID-19 pandemic. I suggested that they prerecord all the presentations and play them on closed-circuit television. My suggestion was not accepted.
        I also wrote to Kevin Carr, Secretary of the DOC, regarding his COVID-19 memo he issued. Here is what I said:

     "I read your memo on COVID-19 restrictions and I don't think you went far enough. You did not mention anything about inter-prison transfers.
     "The majority of people infected with COVID-19 will carry the virus with few or no symptoms. Unless you pretest every prisoner you transfer, you run the risk of an asymptomatic prisoner carrying the virus from one prison to another and eventually infecting everyone in the prison system.
      It will be impossible to treat prisoners for the virus once it gets into a prison. In Stanley, we are packed like sardines, all cells are doubled and there is no place an infected prisoner can be safely isolated or treated. Also, there are hundreds of prisoners here who are over 60 and/or have compromised immune systems. A COVID-19 outbreak in Stanley could cause many deaths. We are like a land-locked cruise ship - self-contained and unable to avoid exposure once the virus enters the prison.
"I urge you to suspend all prisoner transfers unless you pretest the prisoners and/or isolate them at the receiving institution."

The current rumor is that the incoming prisoners will be quarantined for 15 days after they arrive in Stanley. That would be great except there is no place to put them where they are not in direct contact with general population prisoners. The intake unit has prisoner workers who are allowed to go to library, gym, chapel and hobby. They will not be wearing protective gear and will be living in the intake unit alongside of the new prisoners. The kitchen will be bringing them food at the same time and laundry workers will come to intake to measure all the new guys for clothing.
     The procedure will reduce exposure but not eliminate it. All it takes is one infected prisoner to introduce the virus into the prison and since most infected people have no symptoms, their policy will delay rather than prevent the virus from entering Stanley.
    In my opinion, the people making the decisions haven't got a clue about what they should be doing.  If asked how they rate themselves, no doubt they would echo Donald Trump and say ten out of ten. The reality is more like how the medical expert rated Trump: "I'd give him a ten . . . on a scale of 100."
     I hope and pray that I'm healthy enough to survive the virus if I become infected."


CHRISTOPHER SHINGLETON (380088 1980, 39) 3/20/2020 10:41:36 PM
Virus news SCI
As of this point it has not reached the inside of Stanley. At least that we know of. There was a bus that came in yesterday, 3/19/20, in which they quarantined every one as a percussion due to an inmate having been in contact with someone whom tested positive. I think that transfers should be halted for the time being. I understand that this may put a backlog on the system at Dodge, however, I also think it is a necessary percussion. I received confirmation from the doctor here at Stanley that it is not here. I believe that this whole thing is being fluffed up into more of a frenzy then is needed at the hands of our government officials. I understand that people are dying, but people die everyday. I feel bad that they are dying but we need to be real as well as cautious. The average flu kills between 25,000-69,000 people every year, every year thousands of people around the world die from various different things, whether it be cancer, suicide, murder, flu, or just general old age. It happens death is a part of life. Look back into history, when did other "drastic" diseases come into play like this one? Look at swine flu, bird flu, SARS, west Nile, etc. These all came into "play" during what? election times. Once the election is over, what happens to these ailments, they disappear. I'm just saying I think that everyone just needs to calm down. Christopher S. Shingleton #380088
             SCI
             100 Corrections Dr.
             Stanley, WI. 54768-6500

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