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State Prisons To Resume Accepting New Inmates As Coronavirus Outbreaks Continue

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The California Institution for Women in Corona. (Courtesy Of The California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation)
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Here’s another sign that coronavirus-related restrictions are easing: Starting tomorrow, state prisons will once again accept new inmates transferred from some county jails.

At first, new inmates will only be accepted from four counties: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Fresno. “It is anticipated that no more than 200 inmates will be accepted from those counties through June 19,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said in a statement.

Inmates will go to two intake centers, at North Kern State Prison and Wasco State Prison. They’ll be offered COVID-19 testing. If they test positive, they’ll be isolated. If they refuse testing, they’ll be quarantined for 14 days.

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The CDCR is still trying to curb outbreaks in several facilities. There have been more than 600 cases at the men’s prison in Chino. Most recently, over 100 women have tested positive at the women’s prison next door in Corona.

Resuming inmate transfers “seems extremely dangerous, to be frank,” said Colby Lenz of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

“They've done so little testing across the state, I really think they have no idea what they're dealing with in terms of the spread of the infection,” she said.

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