VIRUS OUTBREAK AT PRISON PROMPTS NEW CALLS TO RELEASE VULNERABLE INMATES
November 10, 2020
The Boston Globe
By Vernal Coleman
Advocates call spike in COVID-19 at MCI-Norfolk alarming
Pointing to an outbreak of COVID-19 at one of Massachusetts’ largest correctional facilities, a group of state and federal officials on Tuesday called on Governor Charlie Baker to commute the sentences of some of the most vulnerable inmates.
US Representative Ayanna Pressley, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, state Senator Becca Rausch and others joined prisoner rights advocates to demand that the state take action to curb the spread of the virus.
“It’s a matter of life or death,” Pressley said at a news conference outside the State House. “The governor can with a stroke of a pen take necessary steps. Now is not the time for half-measures.”
About 172 inmates at Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Norfolk — more than one in 10 inmates at the medium-security prison — have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks, officials said, and more cases are likely. Three inmates have been sent to a hospital for treatment.