On Thursday, information was released confirming that five Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) inmates had tested positive for COVID-19. One of the prisons with positive cases is the Indiana Women’s Prison, located in Senate District 29 and represented by State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis). Sen. Ford has been active in soliciting information from DOC with regards to COVID-19 spread, and recently authored a letter to the governor and DOC Commissioner Carter seeking clarification for what preventative measures were taking place.

“I am disappointed to have to learn second-hand in a recent news article that DOC offenders in my own district are testing positive for COVID-19,” Sen. Ford said. “I had already sent a letter asking for clarification on what steps were being taken to protect the offenders and workers in the DOC system. So far, only reactive policies have been put in place, and it’s imperative that we have a plan for the human beings in our DOC prisons.

“Since sending my letter, I haven’t received any answers to the questions I posed. These offenders are people too, and they currently have little to no ability to self-isolate or quarantine in prisons that are already overcrowded. We need a plan now because it is only a matter of time before more offenders and workers are infected with, and even worse die from, COVID-19.”

Sen. Ford’s full letter can be found here.