An Ohio prison is having major problems containing the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The Marion Correctional Institution has recorded 1,976 cases of coronavirus among inmates, which is nearly 80 percent of its incarcerated population. Five of those inmates and one correctional officer have died from the virus, according to the state’s Department of Rehabilitation & Correction statistics.
A lack of personal protective equipment and the struggle to institute proper social distancing measures at the facility have been the main causes of the COVID-19 spread there.
The problems at the Marion are indicative of similar outbreaks at prisons across America. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the numbers are reflective of what it may look like at every American prison under mass testing protocol. The Ohio ACLU says overpopulation in American prisons is partially to blame.
“You got guys in here dying, that’s falling out, that’s stacked on top of each other,” inmate Shannon Kidd told NBC News. “We got COVID-19, this was brought in to us. I know some guys have done horrific crimes, including myself, but I was a kid, I was a juvenile — we just want help.”
Marion prison officials report that 95 percent of the inmates who tested positive for the coronavirus are asymptomatic. It is one of the few prisons across the country that has implemented mass testing, along with two other facilities in Ohio: Pickaway Correctional Institution in Circleville and the Franklin Medical Center in Columbus.