Today, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) issued a following statement calling for the urgent release of everyone living and working in halfway houses across the country due to the spread of coronavirus:
“Now more than ever, the protection of our most vulnerable citizens is of paramount importance,” said Rep. Richmond. “The outbreak and continued growth of the coronavirus will inevitably do the most damage to people and communities most at risk. That is why I am calling on the Bureau of Prisons and probation officers to release all residents with appropriate residences to home confinement from halfway houses across the country. This will allow for appropriate social distancing measures within the halfway houses and protect staff as well. It is unconscionable to keep these 8,000 men and women living and working closely together during this dire public health crisis.
“Halfway houses most closely resemble overcrowded college dormitories where the practice of social distancing is nearly impossible. Many people who live in these facilities are elderly and have pre-existing health conditions that increase their risk of falling ill if infected. If one resident contracts coronavirus, the implications for the rest of the house could be catastrophic. As all levels of government rush to implement social distancing policies, we cannot leave behind those in halfway houses who are working hard to reintegrate into society.”