CLOSE After 16 years in prison, Gwen Levi was released on home confinement under the CARES Act. Now, she fears she will be sent back after the pandemic. USA TODAYRussell Leaks had more reasons to be worried about the coronavirus than most people.The 66-year-old Tennessee cook suffers from chronic liver disease, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and the toll of a heart attack. And he was in jail, a place where the virus spreads easily.Leaks got COVID-19 in late November while awaiting final court action on a parole violation charge. The disease left him so short of breath he could barely talk on the phone with relatives. After receiving what he characterized as minimal medical treatment at the jail, he finally recovered in early January.”I felt degraded. I felt like an animal,” Leaks said of his health ordeal. “I felt like I was put there to die.”Leaks is among incarcerated people across the country who have fought the danger of COVID-19 by joining their names and experiences with lawsuits over health conditions in jails and prisons. Alleging that their treatment violated the U.S. Constitution, they have sued correctional and detention facilities and government officials.Dozens of cases were filed by American Civil Liberties Union lawyers, local attorneys,   and large law


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