Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails

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Democratic Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EST, House Democrats will hold a virtual roundtable to discuss the Trump Administration’s inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of COVID-19 in prisons and jails. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Crime Subcommittee Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) have written to the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) on five prior occasions regarding the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Marshals Service’s handling of the coronavirus. To date, the Members have only received one substantive, yet inadequate, response. During the roundtable, Members and participants will discuss actions the Trump Administration must take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. 

In addition to Chairman Nadler and Chair Bass, additional House Judiciary Committee Democrats are expected to participate in the roundtable. 


Angela Caldwell is the daughter of Thomas Balsiger, who is a prisoner at the La Tuna BOP camp in Anthony, Texas. Mr. Balsiger is 67 years old, has advanced coronary artery disease, and suffered a heart attack last year.  On April 14, 2020, Mr. Balsiger was one of about 50 people at the prison who were told that they would be released to home confinement in “7-30 days.”  The following week, all but three of those 50 people were told their release orders had been rescinded because they did not, in fact, qualify for release. On May 16, 2020, he was informed that he would not be released to home confinement but was not given a reason for that determination.

Andrea James is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Council on Incarcerated Women and Formerly Incarcerated Women and works directly with persons impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 in our jails and prisons. 

David Patton has been the Executive Director and Attorney-in-Chief of the Federal Defenders of New York since July 2011. 

Date:               May 22, 2020

Time:              4:00 p.m. EST

Livestream:    The virtual roundtable will stream live here.

Riley Hewko, Esq.


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