Federal prisons will move to a state of lockdown Wednesday that will see inmates confined to their cells for two weeks. CNN reported the extraordinary measures were announced by the Bureau of Prisons on Tuesday, and are an attempt to prevent potentially devastating outbreaks of the novel coronavirus from gaining a hold on the nation’s prisons. The agency said some trips out of cells will be allowed for services like mental-health treatment and education, and limited group gatherings—such as access to laundry, showers, and the telephone—will be “afforded to the extent practical.” The first coronavirus death in the federal prison system happened at a Louisiana prison over the weekend and, as of Monday, there were 28 inmates in federal custody with confirmed coronavirus diagnoses. Crowded conditions make prisons potential tinderboxes for the virus.
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