December 2, 2020

Federal prisons under national lockdown amid George Floyd protests, most severe restrictions in 25 years

The federal Bureau of Prisons has ordered a national lockdown amid continuing civil unrest in cities across the country in a move that resembled the agency’s most severe restrictions at its facilities in 25 years.

Federal authorities, already struggling to contain deadly outbreaks of the coronavirus that has left 68 inmates dead, had imposed nationwide restrictions on inmate movements in March in an attempt to limit the virus’ spread. But officials took the more restrictive action late Monday as a surge of violent clashes between protesters and police erupted following the death of George Floyd, who died after being pinned under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

“In light of extensive protest activity occurring around the country, the BOP – in an abundance of caution – is implementing an additional, temporary security measure to ensure the good order and security of our institutions, as well as ensure the safety of staff and inmates,” the agency said in a statement late Monday. “In securing our facilities, our hope is that this security measure is short-lived and that inmates will be restored to limited movement in the very near future.”

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