Leonard Peltier Pleads For Help Amid Constant COVID Lockdowns In Prison
Jan 23, 2022 1 min, 50 secs

Leonard Peltier, the Native American rights activist whom the FBI put behind bars decades ago without any evidence that he committed a crime, tells HuffPost that his facility’s prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns and failure to provide at least some inmates with booster shots has left him ― and likely others ― unbearably isolated and preparing for death.

Peltier’s facility, a high-security penitentiary in Florida called USP Coleman I, is currently one of 98 federal prisons at a Level 3 COVID-19 operational level, which means its COVID medical isolation rate is at the highest level.

He said he and others on his cellblock still haven’t gotten their COVID booster shots.

Peltier asks the prison’s medical staff “every chance he gets” when he and others in his cellblock will get their booster shots, said Sharp, and they always say they don’t know.

But when lockdowns mean being denied human contact for weeks at a time and no details on when a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be available, the situation feels untenable for inmates like Peltier.

It’s hard to know how many people within the massive federal prison system have not received their booster shots.

Donald Murphy, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said the department isn’t making data publicly available relating to inmates’ booster shot rates.

Instead, he pointed to the department’s COVID resource webpage, which includes data on the total number of COVID-19 vaccination shots that have been given to inmates and staff since last year.

“We are not breaking this number down to reflect booster shots only,” he said.

The Bureau of Prisons has received a total of 316,714 doses and administered 287,681 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to staff and inmates since it became available last May, according to its website.

He did say that the Coleman facility “is currently administering COVID booster vaccinations for inmates,” despite the fact that Peltier has not been offered one and has seen no signs of it being offered to other inmates on his cellblock.

attorney who helped put Peltier in prison so long ago is now pleading with President Joe Biden to grant him clemency because, he says, federal officials never had evidence that he committed a crime?


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