We have word from Eric. FCI Englewood has cancelled visits for 30 days. However, staff has yet to wear masks into the facility. With the BOP on a hiring freeze, it is going to get really interesting if prisoners start to get sick. The BOP has issued a statement saying that attorney visits are also suspended for 30 days. The BOP is so quick to cut outside visits because prisoners are such a vulnerable population, yet they will not spend the $.50 per guard per day to prevent staff from infecting prisoners. Eric says that they took “the good soap” leaving them with this horrible grainy prison-brand soap. Prisoners are also being denied access to the law library at FCI Englewood.
The BOP has issued a statement saying that prisoners are now allowed to purchase 500 phone minutes in comparison to the previous 300 minutes before to help keep families in contact. However, the reality is many in the segregated housing units (SHU) across the BOP do not have access to the phones (and if they do, they get just one 15 minute call a month). They do not have access to email, letters are held and delayed by the prison and now they are not even permitted legal or regular visits (SHU visits are behind glass or video). FCI Englewood is choosing to uphold the illegal phone block they brought against Eric. Suddenly he finds himself being held pretty incommunicado again.
This is a reality Eric shares with so many across the nation. Forced to wait helpless while the prison fails to act to keep them safe. During this pandemic, prison staff who interact with prisoners should be wearing masks to help limit the transmission of the virus. During incubation people are contagious so at the very least, masks should be a requirement for ALL staff interacting with prisoners. Further, the BOP needs to give out soap and cleaning supplies and subsidize the cost of vitamins and medicine to treat illnesses. SHU prisoners who do not have access to email or phones need to be allowed access to email and phone at least once per day while visitation is suspended. The BOP needs to end ALL commissary restrictions for SHU prisoners. They need to also stop limiting the number of stamps SHU prisoners are allowed. Prisoners need to also be allowed unmonitored phone calls to their attorneys while they are being held incommunicado.
The BOP needs to put their plan in writing to keep the over 146,000 people in BOP custody (and the additional 28,000 in other facilities) safe (similar to what every other government agency is currently doing). Simply holding the entire prison population from their loved ones is not handling an outbreak.
Among that population, the BOP currently has 10,642 prisoners in segregation. This leaves 9,441 prisoners facing the same situation Eric is this morning: in the SHU of a regular BOP prison suddenly finding themselves in complete isolation without even legal visits. On top of that, they have no email access and only one phone call a month if they are lucky. They are often restricted in what they can buy on commissary (including medicine, soap and food). Out of those 10,000 people, only 1,597 are in disciplinary segregation which means the rest of the population (9,441) is not even serving disciplinary sanctions.
From the BOP’s indexed files there are currently two prisons with potentially exposed staff and they are not asking the EXPOSED guard’s wife who also works at the prison to quarantine. The BOP is not even taking the simple precaution of wearing masks
You can write Eric at
Eric King #27090045FCI Englewood9595 W Quincy AvenueLittleton, CO 80123PLEASE share the legal fundraiser https://fundrazr.com/e1cKo1
There is the possibility Eric can receive books right now again. We have not been able to confirm that it’s not a fluke before opening up the Amazon wishlist. But if folks have books at their house they want to send Englewood’s book policy is here.