TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Bureau of Prisons is making the Terre Haute complex an intake center for the region and it means 125 inmates will be moved there Tuesday, according to AFGE Local 720 First Vice President Vic Rubinacci. Originally this was set to happen on Thursday but has since been rescheduled.
Concerned prison employees contacted News 10. They say they’re worried about the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Rubinacci confirms these 125 inmates are currently being held by U.S. Marshals and county courts around the region.
He says the inmates will get a temperature check when they arrive at the Federal Correction Complex in Terre Haute. Inmates with COVID-19 symptoms will be put in isolation. Inmates with no symptoms will be put in quarantine with up to one other inmate.
All 125 inmates will stay in quarantine for 14 days. Rubinacci says they’ll be sent to other facilities after that time has passed.
Rubinacci explains these inmates will be kept in the same housing unit. Even though inmates may be in isolation, he says they will all be breathing the same air. He says the unit does not have negative pressure rooms like a hospital to keep the virus from spreading.
News 10 spoke with Rubinacci and other union representatives last month. At that time they expressed concern about inmates leaving the facility for court and doctor appointments. They also discussed frustration about access to personal protective equipment. Rubinacci says he is still concerned about staff access to the appropriate safety gear and says the community should be concerned, as well.