ROCHESTER, Minn. -
Correctional facilities and detention centers can be hotspots for coronavirus. According to the Bureau of Prisons, more than 2600 federal inmates and more than 200 staff members across the country have tested positive for the virus.
Kim Bergh has a loved one incarcerated in Rochester. His name is Lauren Reed. He's serving time for manufacturing drugs. He was transferred to the Federal Medical Center about a year ago. He's supposed to get out of prison in a couple of years - but Bergh wants him out as soon as possible. It's his second stint in jail.
"Since he's been incarcerated for 11-and-a-half years, he's been a model prisoner and they are not taking any of that into consideration," Bergh said.
Bergh worries about his future.
"He's asthmatic, he's been on chronic care for asthma," Bergh said. "COVID-19 is respiratory disease, of course is he more susceptible to get it? But he's susceptible to more complications."
Reed has been trying to get home confinement but FMC Rochester was told he didn't qualify due to an elevated pattern score. It determines whether the inmates are at an elevated risk to reoffend.
"It's unjust and it's not, for example, in Lauren's case, his high pattern score is due to his convictions prior to his incarceration and also due to his age, he's younger, he's 36 years old," Bergh said.
KIMT News 3 reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for a statement. They won't discuss information about an individual inmate's condition. They say in part: "Inmates who are found to be ineligible under agency criteria or who are determined to be inappropriate for agency approval of a reduction may also file a motion in their sentencing court themselves."
Now - Bergh and Reed are proceeding to get an attorney to advocate for him.
"I cannot imagine, sitting and spending 11 years for a drug charge and expecting to get out of there within a couple of years and having something like this take you out basically," Bergh said. "I can't."
The Bureau of Prisons also tells KIMT News 3 they have "begun immediately reviewing all inmates who have COVID-19 risk factors, as described by the CDC to determine which inmates are suitable for home confinement." As of now - Bergh tells KIMT News 3 the attorney for Reed is drafting and filing a petition for compassionate release to bring in front of a sentencing judge.