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Former FMC inmate speaks on COVID-19 policies in facility

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 12:14 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Chad Marks was pretty candid this morning about his time at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington.

“It had to be the worst place I’ve ever been in 17 years. The worst. Hands-down.”

Marks is a former inmate at the facility. He spent around two years there. He was in prison on drug charges and was released on June 25th.

He tells WKYT watching the response to COVID-19 by the administration left him outraged.

“On April 24 there was a guy that was sick in the unit next to me in the housing unit, and they tested him but they left him in the unit - all weekend,” says Marks. “Then on Monday they came and got him and said, ‘Oh god he’s got it. Let’s get him out of there.’”

So far six inmates have died in the center. Numbers released by the Bureau of Prisons show more than 260 cases between the inmates and staff, although Marks says memos released to prisoners show more than 280.

The bureau released a statement to WKYT about the steps being taken at prisons to limit the spread, but Marks says a lot of those steps, like social distancing and making sure everyone had access to soap weren’t always followed.

“A lot of the staff members were scared. They were actually scared to come in there. The thing there was they didn’t want to test the staff, and there’s a reason why. As long as they didn’t test them, then they could still come to work. But, if they tested them they couldn’t come to work no more.”

WKYT has reached out to the bureau for an updated statement, but so far haven’t heard back from them.

The Fayette County Health Department had urged staff members at the prison to get tested for the virus.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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