Jail testing cases before SJC Tuesday

Boston Statehouse
mass supreme judicial courthouse_345510

BOSTON (SHNS) – Attorneys representing three groups are scheduled to appear before the state’s highest court Tuesday as they press for regular COVID-19 testing of non-symptomatic people at Massachusetts county jails.

According to the ACLU, Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, nine houses of correction fail to test all people at intake, and all houses of correction in Massachusetts refuse to conduct regular testing of non-symptomatic incarcerated people or staff.

“Although the state offers the vaccine to incarcerated people and staff, public health experts explain that the vast majority of people working and incarcerated in jails will have to be vaccinated in order to achieve community immunity. Contrary to a court order, four of the HOCs are not reporting staff vaccine refusals; those which are reported more than 1,600 staff refusals as of last week. The HOCs concede that they do not know the percentage of their staff members who have been vaccinated,” the groups said in an advisory promoting their 9 a.m. appearance before the Supreme Judicial Court on June 1.

Tuesday’s hearing will be livestreamed.

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