Protesters Seek Change to ‘Inhumane Conditions' in Federal Prison in Pandemic

Family members of inmates protested conditions at the jail and want better protection against COVID-19.

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Dozens of cars honked their horns in protest outside the Federal Correctional Institution Saturday in Miami-Dade as family members of inmates protested what they say are inhumane conditions at the jail and want better protection against COVID-19.

“They’re all on top of each other,” said protestor Colvy Starr. “There’s no social distancing.”

Starr says her father and uncle are both inmates, and she’s been communicating with them through email about conditions inside.

“The guards don’t have masks,” Starr said. “They both have dire health conditions, and if they do get the coronavirus, it will be very bad for them, probably death.”

Miguel Romero is an attorney who helped organize the protest.

Romero says he gets emails from inmates and family members about the lack of precautions against the virus.

“There are a lot of people here who are infected who are not getting medical care,” Romero said.

He says their goal is to have non-violent inmates, who are elderly or vulnerable to the virus, to be placed on house arrest.

“People are allowed to be placed on home confinement,” Romero said. “We’re requesting and demanding that they protect human rights of these prisoners.”

“All we’re asking is to please provide them with masks that would really prevent the spread in there,” said another organizer who didn’t want to be identified.

NBC 6 News reached out to the FCI through email and phone calls for a statement, but no response has been given.

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