Inhumane Conditions at Fort Dix Violate Inmates 8th Amendment Rights

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The inmates currently housed at Fort Dix FCI are being held in extreme conditions during a national pandemic.  This facility houses close to 4,000 inmates.  Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic conditions have continually deteriorated and the facility is taking little to no precautions or actions to protect the inmates incarcerated there.  Their ventilation system in buildings that hold many of these inmates has been broken since August of 2019.  There is currently a heat wave and temperatures in the buildings are in excess of 100 degrees for days on end.  On top of the ventilation issue, meals have been reduced and are often served with moldy bread and spoiled food.  The total daily calorie count of the meals they are serving are well below that required for an adult male.  The outdoor time that is typically given to inmates has been reduced to 1 hour a day three days per week even though the CDC has repeatedly stated that the risk of spreading or contracting the virus is lessened when outdoors.  Not to mention the fresh air would be beneficial not only with the virus but also with the heat and lack of ventilation that the inmates are experiencing indoors.  They have taken away all programs and positive outlets that the inmates had citing that it is unsafe to hold these programs, however they continue to allow them to work in close quarters because it is a benefit to the for-profit prison system.  The suspension of these programs does not allow for them to acquire the good time they should be earning under the federal First Step Act which was signed into law.  Further, my son and many other inmates have symptoms of having the virus and have compromising conditions and they are refusing to test them or offer any medical care unless they have a fever or their condition gets severe.  The Eighth Amendment of our Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment from being inflicted.  We that have loved ones incarcerated in this facility demand that actions be taken to protect them from the negative impact this is inflicting upon them.  When the Federal government incarcerates a human being they assume the responsibility of protecting their well-being and that is not being done at this point and time.  There are confirmed positive cases in this facility, although they refuse to test all inmates so the exact number is unknown at this time.  Many of these inmates have compromising conditions and their requests for Compassionate Release or any kind of furlough or home confinement are being denied.  If the facility can not improve the conditions they must act immediately to release the inmates and protect their health and well being which should be their top priority.  This is a low level facility that houses non-violent offenders.  Continuing to hold them under these conditions could result in serious health conditions and/or death for many.  These inmates are human beings and should be treated as such.

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