Fifth inmate dies at Terminal Island prison; families to stage protest

Families of inmates at the Terminal Island Correctional Facility are planning a protest today calling on the government for more information after some 600 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus—more than half of the total inmate population—and a fifth death was announced late Thursday.

The latest death announced by the Federal Bureau of Prisons was inmate Leonard Auerbach, 73, who had been hospitalized for chills, fever and other symptoms. Auerbach, who had preexisting medical conditions, was pronounced dead Thursday.

He had been serving a 15-year sentence for production of child pornography and had been at Terminal Island since Feb. 13, 2018.

Family members of inmates have been calling for their loved-ones to be released to home confinement, something federal officials say they’re prioritizing.

Terminal Island houses just over 1,000 low-level offenders, many of whom need specialized medical or mental health care. Federal officials have declined to say how many people have been transferred to home confinement from Terminal Island. Overall, 1,805 of the federal prison system’s 153,000 inmates have been released.

Today’s protest at 11:30 a.m. in front of the gates at Terminal Island was organized because families say they are being left in the dark about the health status of inmates.

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