Carbajal, Feinstein, Harris Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Prison Funding in COVID-19 Package

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Santa Barbara, CA, August 10, 2020 | comments

Santa Barbara, CA – Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Kamala Harris wrote to House and Senate leadership urging them to quickly finalize a COVID-19 emergency response package and include critical assistance for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in order to respond to the pandemic’s outbreaks in California prisons.

The letter emphasizes the need for funding to assist with testing, acquisition of personal protective equipment, and other efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s spread in federal prisons.

“We are concerned that BOP has not yet implemented universal testing or onsite testing for inmates and staff to stop the spread of the virus throughout the prison system or within our communities. We therefore urge you to work swiftly to ensure the necessary funds are made available to better equip the BOP in handling this crisis,” wrote the California lawmakers. “The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, with $200 million for the BOP to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks, over 10 weeks ago. Our communities cannot afford further delays.” 

A recent report from the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG) found significant shortcomings in Lompoc Prison’s COVID-19 response, including insufficient testing of inmates and staff.

Read the letter here.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th Congressional District that includes San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and part of Ventura counties.

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