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Officer Dies Amid COVID Outbreak in Miami-Dade Jails – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-02-25 09:00:00 –

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As COVID began to spread to Florida and other countries last year, Miami-Dade supporters released low-level criminals from county prisons for fear of the death penalty for a small number of unlucky people. I asked you to do it.

Many people when prosecutors and judges are surprised Pay attention to those warnings Help arrange the release of hundreds of prisoners. The county’s prison population, which was 3,927 prisoners on February 25, 2020, steadily declined from spring to summer, falling below 3,200 in late June.

But since that time, the prison population has slowly returned. As of this week, more than 3,900 people have been detained in Miami-Dade, comparable to pre-pandemic levels.

The change is consistent with dozens of cases of coronavirus reported between prison officers and prisoners this month. On February 1, 57-year-old prison officer Juan Llanes died of COVID after nearly 33 years of career in Miami-Dade correction and rehabilitation. At the time of his death, the county reported that 84 orthodontic personnel were at home and 20 prisoners had been quarantined after being recently virus-positive.

Maya LuxdaleMiami-Dade’s imprisoned people and their families’ lawyers and advocates believe that the increase in prison population is a factor in the recent outbreak.

“One day, the prison population is actually larger than it was before COVID,” says Ragsdale. “Things are very crowded again.”

Last year, a team of lawyers from Ragsdale and various civil rights organizations Proceedings Against the Miami-Dade fix, the county said it wasn’t fully prepared or addressed the pandemic threat.The district court upheld the group and ordered the county to take some steps to prevent the spread of COVID, but the Court of Appeals Overturned that decisionThe virus apparently threatened prisoners, but the correction department ruled that it was doing its best to manage the situation. The civil rights group then voluntarily dismissed the proceedings in September.

In a press release earlier this month, Miami-Dade Corrections said, “We continue to take proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of MDCR staff, healthcare professionals, and inmates in custody.” It was. These measures include enhanced cleaning procedures, transition to video visits, and on-site employee testing. As of July 2020, the Orthodontic Department has also detained the next arrested person for three days and is testing COVID before mixing with the general public.

However, prisons remain an inherently difficult place for officers and prisoners to practice social distance.

“The problem you have in these prisons-it’s a close relationship,” says Steadman Stahl, president of the Miami-Dade Police Charity Association, which represents county correctors and law enforcement agencies in other regions.

According to Stahl, the death of long-time prison officer Llanes, who died earlier this month, has been a nuisance to his colleagues, most of whom have no option to work remotely.

“We are the ones facing the COVID dragon,” says Stahl. “It’s a very scary time.”

More vaccines are available in Florida, but Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t explicitly stated this week when law enforcement officers will prioritize prison population. Can be in the next column..

Mr. Starr said he hopes that prisoners and prison officers will be vaccinated as soon as possible as well.

“I want everyone to take this shot,” he says.

Attorney Lagsdale, who works on behalf of prisoners, said Florida has taken a “normal business” attitude in many respects at this stage of the pandemic, but the virus remains a serious threat to prisoners. It has said.

“Some people are still being sent to Jackson [hospital] A very, very, very sick person, “she says.

Given the increasing number of prisoners in custody, Ragsdale added that the current threat is “quite miserable.”

“That’s my biggest concern,” she says. “When we are in the midst of a highly contagious pandemic, I don’t think the system is built or equipped to handle so many people.”

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Officer Dies Amid COVID Outbreak in Miami-Dade Jails
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