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Vulnerable prisoners left in prison as Covid Rages



On December 9, Ray Halzman, 65, had high blood pressure and began vomiting, but was unable to call for help. She lay down next to the locked door of the guest room with a blanket, “waiting for someone to come,” she said in a statement filed with the court. When she noticed a psychologist coming out of the building, “I knocked on the door and asked him to get a medic.”

Eventually, Ms. Haltzman was hospitalized for nine days. After being discharged on December 18, she was placed alone in a locked room, “which is usually used for suicide or drug refusal,”

; she wrote. She was held there until January 2, although an infectious disease specialist said she did not need to be isolated.

“I had panic attacks because I was left alone in the room for so long,” she said. “I felt like I was being punished for getting sick all the time.”

Another inmate, Denise Bonfilio, also became seriously ill in the men’s prison visitor’s room. Her lips turned blue and she was sent to the hospital. She was found dehydrated but not admitted and returned to the room.

Due to her food allergies, Ms. Bonfilio is often unable to eat the intended meals, which may have contributed to her dehydration. In an interview, she described the treatment in the isolation room as “physically and emotionally brutal”.

“It was like surviving the strongest,” Ms Bonfilio said.

The prisoners had to order items they needed from the commissioner, recalled Ms Torres, who was placed under house arrest on December 23. “We literally bought salons, ibuprofen and hot tea,” she said.

“We were all afraid,” Ms. Spagnardi said. We all thought we were going to die there, and no one would know until he counted.


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