‘It should not be a death sentence’: Protesters call on Lamont to do more for prisoners

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Families of loved ones in Connecticut jails and prisons rallied Friday to try and get them released.

They said behind bars is no place for prisoners with COVID-19 to recover, adding that conditions are just unbearable.

Protesters chanted “shut it down,” calling on Governor Ned Lamont to do more, especially for those who are suffering.

“They transferred him [her son] to Carl Robinson, and two days later he got COVID-19, and now they transferred him to northern,” said Pamela Mabery, whose son is incarcerated. “He was having breathing issues today, when I spoke to him briefly, I only spoke to him for three minutes.”

“He’s on a nebulizer machine, he’s only 15,” Giselle Jacobs said of her son. “It should not be a death sentence. Let him quarantine at home.”

Many argued that jail is not the place to be because there is no safe space to social distance.

Lamont said the state had released a lot of people who are close to the end of their sentences or who are ready for parole. By doing that, they have the lowest prison population numbers of incarceration since the early 90s.

“We have our entire reentry unit working on the complexities involved of running a prison during a pandemic to make sure they have appropriate supports,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Rollin Cook. “We will not approve discretionary release for anyone without a home plan.”

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