Failure to Test, Treat, Track, and Clean Jail Creates Public Health Nightmare on County Watch


(VINELAND, NJ) – PBA Local 231 Attorney Stuart Alterman today responded to Warden Richard Smith’s public comments regarding additional positive tests for Covid-19 at the county jail, calling Smith “The Warden of the Super-Spreader”.


“Warden Smith’s public denials, lack of leadership, and outright ignorance on public health practices are not enough to make additional positive Covid cases on his watch and in his facility go away,” Stuart Alterman, counsel to PBA Local #231. “They used to call him Warden, now they should call him ‘The Warden of the Super-Spreader.’


The Daily Journal reported today that one inmate and four officers tested positive for Covid, resulting in “84 inmates” being quarantined in the jail, creating greater cause for concern about the health and safety of inmates, staff, and correctional police officers.


“Warden Smith and the board of freeholders refused to adopt Freeholder Surrency’s resolutions to test, treat, and track Covid-19 in the jail,” said Alterman. “The reason why inmates are quarantined and testing positive for Covid-19 is because there’s no game plan, no leadership, and no clue.”


The four officers who contracted the virus were exposed to it by an inmate whom they were transporting to a video hearing.


“Jail equipment is not being properly cleaned and PPE is in short supply,” said Alterman.


Alterman and PBA Local #231 are currently in court fighting against the county’s proposed plan to layoff 121 public employees at the jail, including 105 correctional police officers. The union is awaiting a court date before Judge Steven J. Polansky.

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