Court orders immediate action to protect people incarcerated in NC prisons from COVID-19

Today, in a lifesaving decision, Superior Court Judge Rozier issued an order outlining immediate actions to protect people incarcerated in our prison system from contracting COVID-19. He directed the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take vulnerabilities to COVID-19 under consideration in determining whether to grant individual releases. He ordered production of a plan by noon on June 22, 2020 for testing the entire NC prison population for COVID-19. Judge Rozier also ordered testing prior to transfer between prisons and upon admission to prison, or 14 days of isolation in conditions that do not resemble punitive solitary confinement.

“This order recognizes the substantial risk of the spread of COVID-19 within North Carolina’s prison system,” writes Susan Pollitt, supervising attorney at Disability Rights North Carolina. “We look forward to its speedy implementation, not only for the safety of those with disabilities, who are most at risk, but for the welfare of all within the prison community, including their families.”

Read the order