Inmates at prisons and jails face growing virus threat

Correctional facilities are under scrutiny as COVID-19 cases rise among prisoners and staff.
2:45 | 04/14/20

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Transcript for Inmates at prisons and jails face growing virus threat
While most of us are practicing social distancing to try to keep healthy state park can be nearly impossible for more than two million inmates in prisons and jails across the country. Over 2600. Inmates in almost 3000 staff members of prisons and jails nationwide. Have now contracted company nineteen according to researchers at UCLA. The concern is those working inside these facilities could spread it on the outside. ABC's Alex Perez has this look at the corona virus from behind bars. While the outside world urges residents to stay home and practice social distancing. Feet inside world of overpopulated prison systems across the country. Struggling to stem the spread of cope mid nineteen among inmates and staff. That Chicago's Cook County Jail more than 300 inmates have been diagnosed with cope mid nineteen at least three have already died. Inmates who posting this sign on a cell help we mattered to his good don't know. Using contraband cell phones inmates at pleading for help in Alabama. It slow. All crowded Joseph we'll settings myriad of purposes. Prison inmates is smashed office incidence at prior to taking over an entire cell block for works. Until staff used to tear gas the state now investigating. And in Louisiana the ACLU has filed a lawsuits for the release of hundreds of vulnerable prisoners. After at least six dying there Marion lamb cut worries about her fiance Daniel Rodriguez he's served six years of his eight year sentence. In Connecticut. He has rule come. No matter what it reached apps that governor reached out to the commissioner correction in her biggest fear he could be infected. Certainly there's support levels he's uncertain level one being raised so. Condition that he has already gives him teach. In legal filings responding to an ACLU lawsuit to state officials wrote that Rodriguez is quote not medically eligible for release despite a heart condition. The outbreak behind bars critics say further complicated by unsanitary conditions are restricted access to soap and water. And the fact that social distancing and prisons and jails is often impart ad is too small. It is way way too small. Here good county and prisons and jails across the country they have already released there are thousands of low level nonviolent inmates helped ease. Overcrowding girls are now separating inmates quarantining those it has positive and show symptoms. Hoping to slow down the spread of the virus inside. And outside. Alex Perez ABC news Chicago.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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