Two older inmates at the Pack Unit in Grimes County are suing the Texas prison system over their handling of the coronavirus.
As first reported by the Texas Tribune, the lawsuit was filed on Monday. It argues that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is failing to protect prisoners at the Pack unit, which is a geriatric prison in Navasota.
“Despite the ticking time bomb that COVID-19 represents, TDCJ has failed to implement necessary or even adequate policies and practices at the Pack Unit,” said the complaint. “… In practice the situation is even worse, as TDCJ has failed to implement many of its own policies.”
Some attorney’s representing the inmates are the ones who recently sues the TDCJ for temperature issues at the prison in 2014.
In the complaint, it is asked of US District Judge Keith Ellison to provide all Pack Unit inmates unrestricted access to hand soap and disposable towels, hand sanitizer and enough supplies for hourly cleanings of surfaces in the housing areas. It also requests implementing strict social distancing measures in the dining hall and recreation areas.
The two plaintiffs, 69 year old Laddy Valentine and 73 year old Richard King, both have underlying health issues. Thus far in the TDCJ system, there have been two Texas prisoners and seven employees who tested positive for the virus throughout the state.
The TDCJ has no comment on the lawsuit on Monday, as it is currently being reviewed.
The attorney’s are requesting that the lawsuit proceed as a class-action for all inmates at the Pack Unit. Also in their ask is sub classes for those who are high risk based on age, medical condition or disability.