The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights the ACLU of the District of Columbia have filed suit on behalf of residents of the Hope Village Halfway House. The class action lawsuit names Hope Village, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the D.C. Department of Corrections and alleges these defendants dit not “take even the most basic measures to protect them from the COVID-19 virus.”
The plaintiffs seek the release of many residents to home confinement to reduce density in Hope Village, and the implementation of social distancing and infection control measures consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and D.C. government.
Hope Village is the largest federal halfway house in the country with more than 300 beds. Sleeping quarters are crowded, with bunk beds only about three feet apart. The prisoners eat together in crowded dining rooms and share bathrooms. This congregate setting prevents any form of social distancing. In addition, residents are also forced to clean the facilities themselves, but Hope Village has failed to provide them with adequate supplies needed to clean their living areas or maintain the rigorous personal hygiene recommended by the CDC and other public health authorities.