The Bureau of Prisons announced Tuesday it will begin confining federal inmates to their cells for 14 days in an attempt to prevent further exposure to coronavirus. The order is part of what the bureau is calling “Phase 5” of its plan to combat the spread of COVID-19. There will be some exceptions to the quasi-lockdown. The bureau is permitting smaller groups for things like phone calls, laundry and showering. Educational programs and mental health treatment will continue, “to the extent practicable.” Previous phases of the bureau’s plan included the quarantine of newly admitted inmates at all facilities and inmates who show symptoms be isolated until they test negative for the virus or are otherwise cleared. Inmates who may have been exposed but exhibit no symptoms are directed to be quarantined for 14 days. The bureau holds 146,000 inmates across 122 facilities nationwide, not including the 21,000 inmates that are incarcerated in facilities run by private contractors. About 10,000 inmates are over the age of 60 years old, a third of which have pre-existing conditions. Last week, Attorney General William Barr announced he had ordered federal prisons to expand home confinement for older inmates with underlying conditions.”There are particular concerns in this


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