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Cares Act and COVID-19 Collide at Women’s Prison in West Virginia

Clients have long known that the Law Offices of Paul D. Petruzzi in Miami has been a reliable advocate when faced with criminal charges. The law firm’s attorneys continue to go to bat for them even after incarceration. Take the recent news regarding a massive COVID-19 outbreak at a West Virginia federal prison, a place that houses female inmates – a number of whom are clients of the law firm.

In an article from the Dec. 24 issue of Forbes magazine, firm founder Mr. Petruzzi pleaded for action through the CARES Act, challenging city leaders to be more proactive in controlling the virus outbreak and helping inmates. Of the 665 female inmates at the facility, nearly 23% have or have had the COVID-19 virus as of late December.

Virus outbreak at women’s prison

The outbreak at FPC Alderson is a prime example of how the CARES Act can help in a dire situation. The CARES Act eliminated the cap on the amount of time a person may be placed on home confinement during his or her prison term. In the time of COVID-19, this would get inmates out of prison facilities that serve as Petri dishes for the virus.

In the Forbes article, Mr. Petruzzi said some of the FPC Alderson inmates are eligible for home confinement as part of the CARES Act, but shockingly remain in the facility.

Said Mr. Petruzzi: “The conditions there are just abhorrent. Women are sick, there is no hot water in the quarantine unit and staff is short. I’ve contacted the mayor, the Bureau of Prisons and anyone who will look into this crisis.”

Appealing to city leaders

Also, Mr. Petruzzi noted that 12 women are in hospitals outside of the prison, while many others remain inside the prison under quarantine and placed on oxygen.

In a letter to Alderson Mayor Travis Copenhaver, Mr. Petruzzi appealed to the city’s leaders to take on a more responsible role: “The health and safety of the people in Alderson depend on the proper actions taken by the leaders in the community.”

Empathy and sensitivity toward clients

Insightful comments like these exemplify the empathy Mr. Petruzzi and his team of attorneys have for their clients. Their concern highlights how these attorneys continue to remain in the corners of their clients.