PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 7, 2020 


The State Attorney of NY moves to dissolve the NRA; an update on the potential wave of pandemic evictions.


2020Talks - August 7, 2020 


The Commission on Presidential Debates rejects Trump campaign's request for a fourth debate. Hawaii has a primary tomorrow, but there are only 8 vote service centers.

Two Deaths as COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket at a Florida Prison

The Florida Department of Corrections has 145 facilities statewide, including 50 correctional institutions, seven private partner facilities, 17 annexes, 34 work camps, three re-entry centers and more. (Pixabay/jodylehigh)
The Florida Department of Corrections has 145 facilities statewide, including 50 correctional institutions, seven private partner facilities, 17 annexes, 34 work camps, three re-entry centers and more. (Pixabay/jodylehigh)
April 16, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The first two deaths in Florida's prison system related to the coronavirus comes as the system is seeing a spike in both staff and people serving time testing positive for COVID-19.

Just over a week ago, the Florida Department of Corrections said 12 staff members and no inmates had tested positive. As of Tuesday, that grew to 56 staff members and 35 inmates, with a majority of the case explosion happening at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Florida's Panhandle, where two individuals reportedly died.

Debra Bennett, Florida state organizer for the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, says she thinks the number of positive tests is much worse.

"I have no doubt that the numbers are drastically higher than what they are producing," she states. "We're fortunate that they did do testing. Blackwater is a facility that is privately run, so they are doing testing, We don't really believe that a lot of these other prisons are doing the testing."

The department has not responded to a request for comment, and the News Service of Florida is reporting that facility has kept the fatalities secret for nearly a week, with information coming from the local medical examiner's office.

Bennett also runs a nonprofit group called Change Comes Now, which advocates on behalf of people in prisons. She says individuals are vulnerable behind bars, because social distancing is impossible.

Bennett adds if any staff member tests positive, everyone in the population should get tested and appropriate care.

"I lived inside these prisons for many years," she relates. "Medical inside the Department of Corrections, on a very good day, medical attention is horrible."

The Department of Corrections website states that any employees testing positive for the virus are not allowed to work until cleared by a medical professional. If a person serving a prison sentence shows symptoms, that person will be placed in medical isolation, pending testing.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL