Family members say proper actions not taking place in coronavirus response at Lansing prison

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LANSING, Kan. — After cases of coronavirus COVID-19 continue to rapidly spread through Lansing Correctional Facility, family members are reaching out.

The daughters of one inmate tells FOX4 proper precautions are not being taken.

“They are not having any kind of social distancing at all, my dad also told me that when people from outside, the staff, when they come in, they don’t even wear masks unless they see the higher up people there,” Janae Williard said.

The latest numbers show more than 300 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 and two inmates have died.

Willard and her sister says they are not asking for the release of their father, just fair treatment for him and other inmates.

They want to make sure their father and other inmates at the facility are not being forgotten during this pandemic.

After countless attempts to contact prison staff, and other leaders, they have gotten no where.

“They are not just inmates, or prisoners, they are family members of people, they are fathers, and brothers, sisters, and cousins, and they mean to people in the outside,” Jordan Willard said. “Even though that they are incarcerated, they are in these jails and prisons, they are serving their time now for the crimes they committed, that doesn’t mean we have to take away their basic health and basic right to come out.”

The Willard sisters says their father, 61-year old James Willard is one of the older and more vulnerable inmates, which concerns them the most.

“My dad has a weakened immune system, if he were to catch this virus, I don’t know if his body can fight it off. I don’t know if I will ever be able to hold my dad again. It’s scary.” Jordan Willard.

James Willard has been serving time in minimum security for a manslaughter charge since 2015.

He is eligible for release in 2025.

The Kansas Department of Corrections announced Thursday they will be testing both staff and inmates at the facility.

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