FCI Hazelton workers plan quarantine protest in Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Members of the American Federation of Government Employees Union from FCI Hazelton will protest the decision to establish a COVID-19 quarantine at the facility tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pierpont Rd Exit (Exit 7)off I-68.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has designated ten sites across the country to quarantine new inmates for 14 days before adding them to the general prison population. Officials have designated both, FCI Hazelton and FCI Gilmer County as quarantine sites.

“We just want to get the word out to the public, we’ve had a lot of members of the public that want to stand with us and get the message to the agency the DOJ and leaders that we won’t tolerate this,”AFGE Local 420 President Rick Heldreth said.

Currently, 124 inmates have been moved into quarantine at FCI Gilmer County.

“Our health isn’t something we want to play games with or take chances with,” Heldreth said,”We’ve yet to hear any valid reason for moving these inmates from infected areas to here. It makes no sense, it’s not worth our health and safety.”

Heldreth says they have followed directives from the governor and the CDC and it has prevented the virus from entering FCI Hazelton, they don’t want to take a chance of the virus entering the facility or possibly spreading to the community.

“We live all throughout the communities, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We go to church with everyone, we shop with everyone, we’re very active members of our communities and we don’t to take this out to anyone.”

Heldreth urges people to contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Attorney General William Barr and other leaders to let them know they oppose the quarantine order.

Contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons:
Director M.D. Carvajal
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
(202) 307-3198

Contact Information for the U.S. Attorney General:
Attorney General William Barr
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001