Prayer gathering planned for Steve Stockman: Group questions delay among COVID-19 risks
Published 12:58 am Wednesday, June 17, 2020
To The Leader
BEAUMONT – Friends and citizens concerned for former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman’s health, will conduct a prayer gathering 10 a.m., Thursday, June 18, in front of Jack Brooks Federal Building, 300 Willow Street, in Beaumont.
Stockman, who served as a U.S. Representative for Texas’ 9th and 36th congressional districts, was convicted in 2018 and is now serving a ten-year sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Beaumont, Texas.
Golden Triangle citizens are praying for his fragile health and calling for the prison to reinstate their approval to transfer Stockman to home confinement. He is a 63-year-old diabetic and suffers with other significant health issues, putting him at high risk of the COVID-19 virus.
Stockman was initially scheduled for transfer to home confinement in accordance with the Attorney General’s direction to move at-risk inmates to the safety of home. When reporting for a mandatory pre-release 14-day quarantine, Stockman was informed they’d reversed their decision.
In April, according to PRNewswire press release, Stockman’s caseworker advised he’d made the list for transfer to home confinement under the CARES Act due to his advanced age and health conditions, including asthma-scarred lungs, hypertension and diabetes.
Stockman signed documents to begin the transfer process. When he reported, with other non-violent offenders on the list, for quarantine prior to being sent home, he was told his name had been removed from the list. He was allegedly told that he is safer in prison and he had not served 50% of his sentence.
“Why is Mr. Stockman being treated differently” demanded Joshua Delano, of Orange. “He is the only insulin-dependent diabetic over age 60 who the Beaumont camp hasn’t sent home.”
With Coronavirus rampant in federal prisons, supporters believe the transfer will reduce his risk of contracting COVID-19. They say the prison has also denied Stockman refill of his prescription for immunity-boosting Zinc since February.
On June 10, Texas recorded a new daily high of 2,504 new COVID-19 cases, 21% of those in Jefferson County alone.
The Texas Department of State Health Services blames the spike in new cases in Jefferson Co. on how local health departments are now reporting numbers from prison facilities. That includes three facilities in Jefferson Co.: the Larry Gist State Jail, Mark W. Stiles Unit and the Richard P. LeBlanc Unit, according to a report by www.12newsnow.com.
The Beaumont prison recently had an eighth staff member contract the COVID virus and supporters say local officials believe the prison is immune.
However, the virus entered through guards at the Ft. Worth prison which had no cases the first of April, but had 232 cases of the virus by April 26; now Ft. Worth’s total cases are 600 with 11 inmate deaths. This shows how fast the virus could spread when it hits the Beaumont prison environment.
On June 1, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, acknowledging that prisons are not designed for social distancing. Since then, there’s been at least a 29% increase in COVID cases within the federal system.
“Regardless of whether one thinks Steve is guilty, he does not deserve a possible death penalty from this virus,” said Delano. “We don’t need another Jeffrey Epstein type death due to prison negligence.”