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Keller blasts Bureau of Prisons for considering USP Lewisburg as quarantine holdover center

Argues BOP is not taking into consideration community resources, doing its part to flatten the curve COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) on Thursday made the following statement on the possibility of USP Lewisburg being designated as the northeast regional quarantine holdover center for the federal Bureau of Prisons. By receiving that designation, USP Lewisburg would be the holding facility for continued inmate movement during the COVID-19 mitigation period.

“Without logic, reason, or adequate explanation, the federal Bureau of Prisons-despite having more COVID-19 cases than Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota-continues to move inmates across the country while everyone else is doing their part to stop the mitigation of COVID-19.

“By housing inmates set to be moved in the northeast region at USP Lewisburg, the federal Bureau of Prisons is endangering the community and putting at risk the staff members who work at the facility every day. Our local hospitals and the community surrounding USP Lewisburg have made it clear: they do not have the capacity to deal with a large-scale COVID-19 outbreak at a federal prison the likes of which have already been seen at FCI Oakdale and FCI Elkton.

“Continued movement of inmates is unbelievably irresponsible behavior by an organization devoid of competent leadership. To move them into a rural community that cannot deal with a large COVID-19 outbreak defies the entire thought process behind virus mitigation.

“I call on BOP Director Michael Carvajal to halt inmate movement and reverse consideration of USP Lewisburg’s designation as the northeast quarantine holdover center. In the alternative, I am hopeful for swift consideration of the PANDEMIC Act of 2020 to stop movement during this national emergency. To continue this behavior jeopardizes lives.”

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