Rep. Bustos Calls For Stricter Coronavirus Testing Regime For Federal Prison Transfers

Jun 5, 2020

AUSP Thomson, a Federal prison in northwest Illinois.
Credit State of Illinois

Illinois U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos is calling for a policy of testing all federal prisoners for COVID-19 before any transfer to another facility. She made the remarks after a situation that developed at a prison in Thomson.

“There were 19 inmates that came from the Federal prison in Chicago, transferred to the Federal prison in Thomson, and not all of them were tested," she said. "So what happens? We find out that two of them have COVID-19. They’ve tested positive.”

Bustos says COVID-19 outbreaks at federal prisons pose risks to inmates, prison staff, and the communities that host the prisons. This is especially true in rural communities like Thomson, where health care capacity to address the coronavirus pandemic isn’t nearby.