Congressman Salud Carbajal, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kamala Harris are urging House and Senate leadership to finalize a COVID-19 emergency response package and include critical assistance for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Their letter to congress emphasized the need for funding to assist with testing and personal protective equipment.
A recent report from the Department of Justice found insufficient testing of inmates and staff at the federal prison in Lompoc.
"We are concerned that BOP has not yet implemented universal testing or onsite testing for inmates and staff to stop the spread of the virus throughout the prison system or within our communities. We therefore urge you to work swiftly to ensure the necessary funds are made available to better equip the BOP in handling this crisis," wrote the California lawmakers in a press release. "The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, with $200 million for the BOP to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks, over 10 weeks ago. Our communities cannot afford further delays."
More than 1,000 inmates and staff at the Lompoc prison have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Many of them have since recovered.