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Virgin Islands Prisoners Held in Florida Request Transfer in Light of COVID

The following letter was mailed to U.S. Virgin Island Senators in Light of the Risks of COVID-19.

To the Honorable Senators of the Virgin Islands Legislature:

Dear Honorable Senators,

The Undersigned Virgin Islands prisoners held here at the Citrus County Detention Facility are burdened with grave concerns for our safety and welfare. Prior to this letter being written to you, there have been two reported cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within Tampa, Florida and a state of emergency has been declared. As spreading of the virus amongst a high number of individuals throughout the States, specifically Tampa, have even moreso increased the possibility of it dispersing into this facility is even greater as we must keep in mind that it has been defined as a pandemic.

Within outside communities here in the state of Florida testing for the Coronavirus has begun in an increasing amount of areas. Many places have been closed down due to the speedily increasing spread and disturbing impact of the virus, including schools and businesses, for the purpose of sanitizing.

The members of the public have been over-purchasing and increasing the use of masks, and have doubled their purchases of items used to sanitize their homes and other areas. Unfortunately, inmates housed at this facility are not allowed to have hand sanitizers, and are not offered any actual options of protection, as it remains unknown if there is any manner of screening for staff or inmates who frequently enter and/or exit this facility.

Here at this facility, there have been no known testing procedures, no distribution or wearing of masks, nor mass sanitizing of individual buildings.

We are in the exploratory stages of this pandemic and we as individual human beings feel that there is a great and sure need for more precautionary measures to be considered and taken to provide for our safety against this clearly serious and dangerous Coronavirus.

More stringent precautionary measures are required at this facility as it is a “Transit Institution,” with repeatedly new arrivals coming into this facility daily.

In the previous institution where we were housed at Tallahatchie in the state of Mississippi, the newly arrived inmates, the escorting and/or interacting staff members all wore masksnduring transport, throughout processing and movement of said inmates throughout the facility, and if need be any inmates with infectious diseases remained quarantined as long as required.

We as constituents of the Virgin Islands government are hereby requesting to be removed from this facility that is failing and unsatisfactory in providing for our safety and welfare.

All of the Core Civic Institutions are utilized as “Transit Stations” for I.C.E. detainees. So we are requesting to be moved to a “State Prison,” or most preferably to the Virgin Islands where there is not a vast influx of prisoners that are being transported/transferred from many worldwide destinations.

We pray that you will give reasonable and considerable attention to our grave concerns.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Your Virgin Island Inmates