Federal inmates at the Hope Village halfway house in D.C. are suing, asking for their release or a change to operations inside amid fears about the coronavirus.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in D.C. on behalf of Hope Village, the largest halfway house in America.
The suit says there’s no social distancing inside the facility on Langston Place SE.
A News4 I-Team report revealed concerns there’s not enough sanitary supplies inside for the hundreds who live there.
Hope Village said it has provided soap and hot water but really can’t change the dormitory-style living space.
Attorneys for the inmates say the inmates are required to share bedrooms and bathrooms.
“Congregate settings are inconsistent with infection control, and we’re very concerned about folks in the halfway house’s safety given this situation,” said Emily Gunston of Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. “Similarly, there are people who can be safely be released home. These are people that are coming and going from the halfway house everyday anyhow. There’s not a danger to the community to having these people go back to their homes, and it will protect them and all of us.”
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“Hope Village is overseen by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and operated by a local contractor. Nationwide, the Bureau of Prisons made some sweeping changes this week, stopping all movement of inmates for two weeks.
Hope Village says it no longer allows inmates to come and go from work assignments each day. They are all staying on-site in Southeast.
Hope Village said it opened another building to help with social distancing.