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Health, Science and Environment

Lawsuit alleges Department of Corrections not doing enough to protect inmates from COVID-19

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A class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections is alleging the state failed to follow CDC guidelines on the coronavirus - putting prisoners at “substantial risk of illness and death.”

The lawsuit alleges the state has failed to provide basic protections against the coronavirus ... amounting to a violation of inmates constitutional rights.

Daniel Manville is an attorney for the plaintiffs. He said in his visits to Department of Corrections’ facilities he has not seen good social distancing.

“The problem is it is going to cost people's life or impact them medically for the rest of their life.”

The suit calls for the Department of Corrections to offer personal protective equipment to inmates and ensure prisoners have adequate sanitizer, among other things.

A spokesperson said in a written statement that most of what is contained in the lawsuit are things they have already been doing.

The spokesperson said disinfectant is free and available, prisoners have been given three cloth masks, and the department is in the process of ramping up testing.

Roughly 1,400 inmates and 268 staff are confirmed to have been infected with COVID 19.