Official: Inmate transfer caused health disaster at prison By DON THOMPSON Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California prison officials wanted to shield inmates from the coronavirus at one facility by transferring them to another but instead unleashed a “public health disaster” that led to thousands of prisoners being infected and 28 dying, along with a correctional officer, the state inspector general said Monday.
The report provided new details on last spring’s catastrophic decision to move inmates from the California Institution for Men east of Los Angeles to San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco.
Numerous officials with the state corrections department and the office of the federal court-appointed receiver who oversees prison medical care knew the tests were too old to be valid, according to the report.
Emails show a health care executive at the Southern California prison “explicitly ordered that the incarcerated persons not be retested the day before the transfers began.”
Emails show the resulting pressure led to officials at the Southern California prison “ignoring concerns from health care staff” that 172 of the 189 inmates hadn’t been tested for the virus in at least two weeks.