Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, today announced they will introduce the COVID–19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act. The bill will help state and local governments provide COVID-19 testing and treatment for individuals in state and local correctional facilities.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced companion legislation in the House. Last month, Senator Booker introduced a bill that would move thousands of vulnerable people in federal facilities out of prison to better protect them from the pandemic.
“Correctional facilities have already started to become COVID-19 hotspots, and we must be more aggressive in stopping the spread of this virus in prisons and jails,” Senator Feinstein said. “Confined spaces and close quarters leave everyone vulnerable. We need to ensure that correctional facilities have everything they need to test and treat staff, inmates and detainees for COVID-19 as well as take other measures to prevent the virus’ spread. This is a public health emergency and we must protect everyone, including preventing a potential crisis in our correctional facilities.”