Protestors asking for change in state prisons


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — More than 50 people were out at the Governor’s Mansion Saturday to try to have their voices heard by state leaders, hoping something will be done as the number of COVID-19 cases rise in facilities across the state.

Despite the news, around 860 inmates were considered recovered at the Cummins unit, according to Director of Arkansas Department of Corrections, Dexter Payne.

“We want them to be treated as any other human being,” said Cynthia Garay, a mother of a Cummins inmate.

Many of the people who showed up have family members in the Cummins unit.

“I’m not doing this just for my son, every inmate in their matters,” said Cynthia Garay, a mother of a Cummins inmate.

We talked to one inmate, who wants to remain anonymous.

He says he tested positive last month.

“It feel like I had blood clots in my legs so it’s a scary thing,” said the inmate.

This inmate, and families at the protest shared stories about how their loved ones are currently being treated inside.

“Nothing hasn’t been done to determine whether or not we have recovered, you still have guys getting sick, guys saying they have flu-like symptoms,” said the inmate.

Today Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed how inmates are being treated.

“The inmates are Arkansans and we care about them, we want to make sure they have the care they need.” said Governor Hutchinson.

However, protesters showed up to the governor’s mansion asking for something to change.

“I hope we can get some help out here with these men in Cummins, we’re praying for them.” said Robin Riggs a mother of a Cummins unit inmate

The Arkansas Department of Correction says they have no comment on Saturday’s protest. 

As far as their recoveries, they go by the Department of Health protocol, which is 14 days after the test results or the last day of symptoms.  

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