Ohio prison inmate desperate to get out, saying more inmates keep getting sick with COVID-19

Coronavirus

We spoke to Robert Jenks over the phone Tuesday evening to discuss what he sees behind prison walls

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Although steps are being taken to keep prison staff and inmates safe during the pandemic, an inmate inside the Elkton federal prison said he is still worried about his safety.

“Everybody on our unit is fighting some type of illness right now,” said inmate Robert Jenks.

The former soldier was convicted in the 2010 murder of his wife and is serving out his sentence at Elkton.

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We spoke to him by phone Tuesday evening to discuss what he sees behind prison walls.

“They’re not doing any, any, any type of containment whatsoever here. They’re mixing the population together,” he said.

Jenks believes he is at a higher risk for COVID-19. He’s had several back surgeries and suffers from a nerve disease that can compromise his immune system.

Jenks is eligible for parole in December but wants to be released earlier.

“I’ve sent this to medical. Medical told me to send it to the warden immediately, recommended I put in for a passionate release. I did it on Saturday and I’ve gotten no word from anybody or anything,” he said.

Jenks also said the inmates are not wearing masks and dozens of prisoners are starting to show symptoms.

The latest numbers show 10 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, three of which have died. As of Tuesday evening, four staff members have tested positive.

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