ACLU-MN sues to release Moose Lake inmates due to COVID-19 dangers

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota is suing to release inmates endangered by COVID-19 at a Moose Lake prison in northern Minnesota.

The organization filed a petition Wednesday against the state Department of Corrections (DOC). According to the DOC website, 12 inmates have tested positive for the virus in the prison and another 31 inmates are presumed positive.

The ACLU-MN said at least 11 correctional staff reportedly also have COVID-19.

The petition alleges the prison is not fulfilling its constitutional duty to keep people in custody safe. The ACLU-MN alleges the prison is still holding as many as eight men in a cell and permitting unrestricted access to showers, communal phones, vending machines and other facilities. The organization said there is no way for people in the prison to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The ACLU-MN is asking a court to immediately release inmates who are bringing the petition, and those like them, to safe locations where they can isolate and get medical treatment, if needed.

To see the full memo, click here.

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