WASECA, Minn. - When it comes to the coronavirus, prisons are virus-rich Petri dishes. Prisoners in the lockup are largely unable to physically distance. At the Federal Correctional Institution - 89 inmates and 2 staff members have tested positive for the virus. The son of an inmate is speaking out.
Christopher Kasowski is the son of Cassandra Kasowski. She's an inmate at FCI - Waseca serving time for a nonviolent drug offense. Cassandra tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
"She's previously battled cancer, she has immunity deficiencies, her immune system doesn't combat sickness very well," Christopher said.
Cassandra is experiencing fatigue, a stuffy nose and loss of taste.
"Really - the biggest thing is - she's just scared - she doesn't know what to do and doesn't know how this is going to affect her - without a real plan in place to help her," Christopher said.
Attorney JaneAnne Murray has long represented inmates at the lockup. She'd like convicts who are fighting the virus to get some sympathy.
"I think that it could really make us rethink the value of imprisoning so many, whether we can come up with alternatives to incarceration," Murray said.
Christopher is eager to see incarceration reform.
"If we could lower the population a little bit in the prisons, we would be able to isolate these people better and have more space for them, you can't expect students to be spread out in a classroom 6 ft. apart but us to pack inmates together like sardines," Christopher said.
KIMT News 3 reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for a statement. The Bureau says the majority of its inmate population is in quarantine and isolation. The Bureau also says it's doing everything it can to minimize the spread of the virus.