Sunday, July 12, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 19

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 3rd, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 14

U.S. prisons implement security measures in response to nationwide protests

By Malea Martin

After a weekend of protests and unrest nationwide, the federal Bureau of Prisons told the Sun that it is implementing “an additional, temporary security measure” within its prison facilities, including those in Lompoc. 

The bureau stated that no protests occurred inside the prisons, and that the measures are purely in response to actions occurring outside the prison system, protesting the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. In an email to the Sun, the bureau representatives wrote that the measures are “to ensure the good order and security of our institutions, as well as ensure the safety of staff and inmates.”

The Sun asked the bureau for clarification on what the “additional, temporary security measure” entails. 

“During this temporary national lockdown, inmate movement is further limited in our institutions,” bureau representatives replied. 

The agency didn’t specify in what ways inmate movement is further limited. 

The Sun asked the representatives when the bureau was planning to reinstate the visitation prisoners lost due to pandemic-related restrictions, but the email response didn’t address the question. 

The bureau made the protests-related decision after the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) reported the death of an incarcerated individual, Daniel Lee Vadnais, on June 1. This is the third reported death associated with COVID-19 to come from the Lompoc federal prison facility as a whole, which includes both the FCI and Lompoc United States Penitentiary, with two of those deaths at the penitentiary.

Incarcerated people at the FCI received universal testing for the virus, leading to a sudden spike in positive case numbers coming from the prison. The bureau isn’t conducting universal testing at the penitentiary, according to the bureau’s June 2 email to the Sun

“There currently is no plan to conduct mass testing of every inmate at USP Lompoc as inmates are being tested in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance based on a variety of factors including exposure and objective symptoms,” the email stated. 

Weekly Poll
What'd you make of the county's decision to close beaches for the Fourth of July weekend?

It was sensible since counties to the south closed their beaches.
I was OK with it. I set off fireworks at home instead.
It was ridiculous. The restrictions have to stop.
It didn't matter. I went to SLO County.

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