Photos and a video provided to the Gateway Pundit by an inmate at Fort Dix federal correctional institution in New Jersey reveals no masks for inmates or guards, no social distancing, and spoiled food being served to prisoners.
The lack of precaution, endangering both prisoners and staff, continued even after Fort Dix had their first confirmed coronavirus case. There are currently over 3,000 inmates at the low-security federal prison.
Speaking to the Gateway Pundit on the condition of anonymity, a prisoner explained that he feels like the prison is endangering everyone in the building. The photos and videos provided show very few prisoners wearing masks while a large group was congregated in the yard.
“The staff aren’t wearing masks and are still shaking us down aka touching all our stuff. They aren’t implementing social distancing AT ALL,” the inmate explained. “They actually made it worse cramming all the rooms full with 12 people. Serving us outdated and moldy food. There is already a confirmed case of an inmate and guard with coronavirus so it’s already here. They need to start letting people go on home confinement.”
The inmate provided photos and a video, in which you can only see one prisoner wearing a mask and a clear lack of social distancing. He also photographed a meal he was served with moldy bread.
On April 7, the prison had their first confirmed case of the virus when an inmate tested positive.
Responding to an inquiry about how the prison is handling the pandemic, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) sent a lengthy response claiming that they are working hard to prevent the spread of the virus and linked to their guidance. Many of their claims are contradicted by the evidence that was provided to TGP.
“The BOP has instituted a comprehensive management approach that includes screening, testing, appropriate treatment, prevention, education, and infection control measures,” the BOP said in their statement to Gateway Pundit. “The BOP has been coordinating our COVID-19 efforts since January 2020, using subject-matter experts both internal and external to the agency, including guidance and directives from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Office of the Vice President.”
In our initial email, we asked if they were concerned that by not providing inmates and staff with masks they were putting everyone in danger. They did not directly respond to this question. We additionally asked if it was due to a lack of supplies or because they don’t believe it’s necessary. They also ignored this question.
Instead, the BOP said that measures they were taking included suspended social and legal visits, cancelling staff training and travel, limited access for contractors and volunteers, and establishing enhanced screening for staff and inmates, including temperature checks. They also said that they had enacted “enhanced modified operations,” which they claim isn’t a lockdown, but “a means to minimize inmate movement, to minimize congregate gathering, and maximize social distancing among the inmate population.”
The statement said that the BOP is “not testing staff as part of our staff screening program. It is not recommended by the CDC as there is not sufficient scientific data to support screening for disease in asymptomatic people.”
The BOP did not directly respond to our question about the inmate meals, instead directing us to the national Food Service Manual on their public website.
So far, 241 federal inmates and 73 BOP staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide. Eight federal inmates have died from the virus.