Third inmate from Bridgewater treatment center dies from COVID-19

April 4th, 2020

By Breanne Kovatch
April 4, 2020
The Boston Globe

A third inmate from the Massachusetts Treatment Center died Saturday while he was being treated for the novel coronavirus at a hospital, state prison officials said.

The inmate, a man in his 60s, had been incarcerated since last year and had underlying health conditions, the state Department of Correction said in statement.

His identity was not released.

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SJC recommends release of prisoners awaiting trial as corrections system grapples with COVID-19

April 4th, 2020

By Trevor Hass
April 4, 2020

Prisoners awaiting trial in Massachusetts should be released as a result of COVID-19, unless prosecutors can prove they present an “unreasonable” danger to the community or flight risk, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday.

This came after the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an emergency petition before the state Supreme Judicial Court. The report noted that correctional facilities can be “petri dishes,” largely because physical distancing and vigilant hygiene are impossible.

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SJC orders release for some pretrial detainees; other prisoners to remain in jail

April 4th, 2020

April 4, 2020

The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that pretrial detainees not being held without bail and awaiting trial on an offense not considered violent or serious are entitled to be released into the community on his or her own recognizance amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case brought by criminal defense lawyers seeking the release or parole of inmates at high risk of COVID-19 infection.

Coronavirus in Massachusetts: 8 Billerica jail employees test positive for COVID-19

April 3rd, 2020

By Jackson Cote
April 3, 2020

Eight employees at a Billerica jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials announced Thursday.

Seven staff members working at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction were diagnosed with COVID-19. Another employee who works in a position located outside the facility also tested positive, according to a statement from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

Inmate at Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater dies from coronavirus

April 3rd, 2020

By Jeremy Fox
April 2, 2020
Boston Globe

An inmate at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater died Thursday while hospitalized for the novel coronavirus, the Massachusetts Department of Correction said Thursday night.

The inmate was a man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions, the department said in a statement. He had been quarantined immediately after he began showing symptoms and was taken to a hospital as his condition worsened, according to the department.

A test confirmed his COVID-19 infection, and he remained at the hospital for 10 days as his condition worsened, the department said.

Prisoners Legal Services of Massachusetts, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of the incarcerated, said in a statement Thursday night that its staff was “very distressed” to learn of the death, which it described as the first death of an incarcerated person in Massachusetts from COVID-19.

“We very much hope that his death and the current suffering of all the other prisoners, correctional officers, and medical staff struggling with COVID-19 in the Commonwealth today propel swift and meaningful action to release people who can safely live in their communities,” the organization said. “Such action must happen as immediately as possible to be effective and to minimize future deaths.”

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