Resource: Torres v. Milusnic

By: American Civil Liberties Union

May 16, 2020

More than 900 people incarcerated in Lompoc have tested positive for the virus — that’s more than 65% of positive tests in all of Santa Barbara County where the prison facilities are located.

While the rest of California took extraordinary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Bureau of Prisons failed to take preventive measures as basic as isolating sick prisoners, allowing social distancing, or providing enough soap. Their deliberate indifference to the risk of disease violates the Constitution and puts both those in prison and the surrounding community at risk.

This class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of several named plaintiffs. We ask the court to direct the Lompoc prisons to decarcerate during the pandemic people who have vulnerable medical conditions that could lead to serious illness or death from COVID-19 infections. Exceptions would be individuals who pose serious flight risks or danger to others.

For those who remain, the lawsuit asks that the prisons provide adequate spacing for six feet or more of social distancing. It also asks that people receive, without charge, individual supplies of hand soap and paper towels, and access to hand sanitizer, daily showers, and daily clean laundry, plus other measures.