Media Contact

Samuel Crankshaw

August 17, 2020


The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky today denied relief to a number of medically-vulnerable people incarcerated at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.   

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-KY Staff Attorney Heather Gatnarek:   

“We are deeply disappointed by the court’s decision that keeps our medically-vulnerable clients incarcerated at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) amid the novel coronavirus outbreak there. The ruling comes as COVID-19 cases surge across Kentucky. We know that prisons present uniquely dangerous conditions and we remain concerned about our clients’ risk of becoming very sick or dying.    
The situation at KCIW is being repeated in jails, prisons, and detention centers across the commonwealth. As we evaluate our next steps in this case, we continue to call on Governor Beshear, the Department of Corrections, ICE Officials, local jailers, prosecutors, judges, and those in charge of youth facilities to act boldly and swiftly to protect incarcerated people from this highly infectious, potentially fatal disease. Detention should not be a death sentence.”  

Scroll down to view PDFs of the court’s opinion and order.

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