Internal NJDOC Memo Details Concerns for Staff, None for General Public
Senator Michael Testa said his office has received an internal Murphy administration memorandum detailing plans to release COVID-positive inmates at bus and train stations tomorrow with no warning to the general public.
“After subjecting law-abiding residents to draconian restrictions and enforcement actions to ‘stop the spread,’ we have an internal memo detailing how the Murphy administration is planning the early release of inmates who are known to be infected with COVID-19 into our community with no oversight or warning,” said Testa (R-1). “Even worse, those inmates will be released at transportation hubs where they’ll board trains and buses with unsuspecting passengers and employees who won’t realize they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. Instead of being forced to quarantine like everyone else, those sick inmates will have the opportunity to be super spreaders of the coronavirus all over New Jersey with bus and train tickets paid for by Governor Murphy.”
Testa received a copy of the internal New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) memo yesterday from a concerned Corrections Officer.
The memo details how NJDOC staff involved in the planned prisoner release on November 4, 2020 are to be dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE), including gown, gloves, face shield or goggles, and an N95 mask.
Further, it explains that the COVID-positive inmates who are being released must be transported from their prison facility to a train or bus station “alone or cohort[ed]” together, presumably to protect NJDOC staff or other inmates from exposure until they are released.
“NJDOC staff are being directed to don full PPE to transport sick and potential infectious prisoners, but where’s the warning or concern for the general public who will be exposed to the newly released inmates just minutes later?” asked Testa. “After all the governor’s bloviating, this ‘knucklehead’ action by his administration is completely hypocritical and a clear threat to public safety. It’s yet another Murphy mess that will end in disaster.”
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