HARTFORD – The Connecticut Department of Correction last night announced that an employee of Garner Correctional Institution tested positive for COVID-19. The following is a reaction from Melvin Medina, ACLU of Connecticut public policy and advocacy director:

“Incarcerated people are sitting ducks in the COVID-19 pandemic. They cannot protect themselves in prisons and jails. Despite calls from family members, formerly incarcerated people, and other loved ones of people inside, Governor Lamont has been silent on protecting incarcerated people from COVID-19. The ACLU of Connecticut has been calling for him to release a plan since March 12. The positive test of a Department of Correction worker adds even more urgency to the need for Governor Lamont to act now to thoughtfully release people who are incarcerated, limit new prison and jail admissions, and reduce the risk for any people who remain incarcerated.”

For video of former DOC hospice worker and current Smart Justice leader Brian Sullivan commenting on the need for a release plan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeXEH-AsJZU

For the ACLU of Connecticut’s March 12 letter calling for a plan to release vulnerable people who are incarcerated: https://www.acluct.org/sites/default/files/2020-3-12_acluct_covid19_reduce_incarceration_letter.pdf