Judge Rules That Weld County Jail is Violating the Rights of Its Inmates
A federal judge ruled on Monday (May 11) that the Weld County Jail is not properly safeguarding its inmates from COVID-19, and is therefore violating their constitutional rights.
According to The Denver Post, the judge ordered that the Weld County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) must present a list of the jail's at-risk inmates by May 18, and improve their isolation of these inmates.
The sheriff's office must also develop better cleaning procedures where these inmates are located, and create a strategy to get more masks for inmates.
The judge's ruling is in response to a lawsuit that seven inmates, along with the ACLU of Colorado, filed against Weld County Sheriff Steven Reams on April 7.
The lawsuit alleges that WCSO's inadequate protection measures, including reportedly allowing sick inmates to work in the kitchen, have resulted in an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Weld County Jail.
As of May 6, The Denver Post reports that eight inmates and four staff members have tested positive for the virus, while one inmate has died from it.
On April 30, Sheriff Reams noted that it has been difficult to find masks for inmates.
Nonetheless, he stated that WCSO has been working diligently since February to protect everyone in the jail from COVID-19.
Reams has not yet commented on the judge's ruling.