Lawsuit Seeks Immediate Release Of At-Risk Prisoners

AP
April 03, 2020 - 12:30 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC and AP) — A lawsuit filed Friday seeks an emergency order that would force the state to release prisoners deemed to be at the most risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut acted on behalf of four inmates and the the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

It seeks the release of those with compromised immune systems and other health conditions; those being held pretrial on minor charges or low bonds; people being held for a technical violation of probation or parole; anyone eligible for home confinement or supervised release; and inmates who are within six months of the end of their sentence.

The plaintiffs include one inmate with an autoimmune condition, one who is over age 60, one who is scheduled for release next month, and one who is being held in lieu of a $5,000 bond and has only one lung.

The Department of Correction has confirmed infections in eight prisoners and 16 staff members in the state’s prisons. Officials there did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

As of Wednesday, more than 100 Connecticut resident had died from COVID-19. For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.