x

FOX 61 | Connecticut breaking news, weather, traffic, sports and social media

EXCLUSIVE: ACLU in talks with the Department of Corrections ahead of trial date for lawsuit; family of an inmate speak out

This comes after Friday’s arguments were delayed in a federal class-action lawsuit demanding the state take action to better protect or release inmates

HARTFORD, Conn — The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut may be headed to court against the state if an agreement is not made by June.

This comes after Friday’s arguments were delayed in a federal class-action lawsuit demanding the state take action to better protect or release inmates in Connecticut.

The ACLU says their fighting to protect those who otherwise don’t have a voice.

FOX61 was able to sit down with a family of an inmate of Osborn Correctional Institute which has now more than 200-people tested positive for COVID-19.

Terries Thompson is a father of an offender at Osborn and represents the families the ACLU says they are trying to help. Thompson said, “It’s a horrible thing, it’s a horrible thing and I don’t want to lose anybody else.”

Terries Thompson says he already lost 4-people to COVID-19 and cannot stand to lose another.

His son, 28-year old Terries Thompson Junior tested positive for coronavirus at Osborn.

Thompson Junior was sentenced to 5-years behind bars on charges of robbery with a weapon and assault, but while dealing with asthma behind bars his father is pleading for his son to be released with his health at risk.

Thompson said, “Let the kid come home and live you know I feel like he did what he needed to do. He’s not a harm to anybody and never has been let him come home, you know, or at least if you are not going to do that at least treat him right while they are in there.”

Last week, I spoke with the family of another Osborn inmate, Christopher Matos who also tested positive.

According to family members... Matos and Thompson are roommates at Osborn and joins more than 250 who have tested positive for COVID-19.

David McGuire with the ACLU of CT said,  “If that ratio is really what they are reporting that is an outrageous and unacceptable number.”

McGuire went over the latest numbers of COVID-positive inmates.

He says up to 780 inmates have tested positive.

The statistics were not sitting well with the ACLU.

Now there are two lawsuits pending, one is on a state level, and the other a federal class-action.

Both are arguing for the safety of those behind bars.

McGuire said,  “We know every day that goes by more people test positive and contract in the Department of Corrections but ultimately in many cases not yet the medical care they need and die.”

FOX61 reached out to the Department of Corrections for comment and has not heard back at this time.

RELATED: Gov. Lamont holds briefing the day before phase one of reopening the state

RELATED: Families renew call for action after test results from Somers prison

RELATED: Governor responds to prison safety concerns; Correction Officers Ask for more PPE

Back in March, the Department of Corrections said it was looking to release eligible inmates on a case by case basis.