Judge orders COVID-19 protection of incarcerated people

Judge Vince Rozier released his order Tuesday that calls for more protection of incarcerated people in state prisons.

Rozier ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case at a virtual hearing last week. He addressed the same issues in his Tuesday order that he did previously during his oral ruling: overcrowding and cohort-based social distancing, transfers and disparate levels of COVID-19 protection in different facilities.

He ordered the defendants to reconsider homes, facilities and programs willing to participate as early-release partners to improve an incarcerated person’s candidacy for release. He also outlined who should be considered for release at the state prisons to make space for proper social distancing.

Rozier’s ruling to grant a preliminary injunction is in response to a lawsuit from the ACLU of North Carolina, Disability Rights North Carolina, Emancipate NC, Forward Justice and the National Juvenile Justice Network asserting that the state’s failure to protect people in state custody from mass outbreaks of COVID-19 amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution.

Read the full order below:


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