Philly Prisons Move to ‘Shelter In Place’ As COVID Outbreak Tears Through Jail



The Philadelphia Inquirer: Samantha Melamed - December 5, 2020


A COVID-19 outbreak inside Philadelphia’s jails has infected at least 150, causing the Department of Prisons to adopt “shelter in place” measures and to cancel prisoner transports to court dates indefinitely.


“Due to a recent uptick in asymptomatic positive cases, the PDP [Philadelphia Department of Prisons] must now return to shelter in place for all PDP inmates,” Commissioner Blanche Carney said in a statement. “This means that inmates will only leave their cell for showers, phone calls, and virtual visits with attorneys, and, when it becomes available on Dec. 15, virtual visits with family and loved ones.”


The news raised alarm for lawyers who have been pushing for the courts to resume speedy trials and resolve a backlog of thousands of cases interrupted by the pandemic.


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