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First COVID-19 death at Coleman prison complex; families report spike at women’s camp

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has 217 inmates at a minimum security satellite camp adjacent to Coleman Low in Sumter County. Family members report a spike in COVID-19 cases among women at the camp. Photo: BOP

An 85-year-old inmate at the Coleman federal prison complex west of The Villages has died of COVID-19.

And the families of inmates say there is a spike in cases at the women’s camp there.

The Bureau of Prisons reports Malcolm Scarbrough died Monday. It was the first coronavirus death at Coleman. Nationwide, the bureau reports 95 inmate deaths and one staff death.

Scarbrough was an inmate at Coleman’s medium security prison.

The bureau’s website lists 95 cases among inmates at Coleman facilities and 31 among staff. It does not break out cases at the women’s camp.

On Facebook, though, family members say the cases are rampant there. Miami attorney Miguel Inda-Romero says that — based on information from families — scores of women have tested positive.

“You can imagine. You can’t go out. You’re not getting properly fed. You’re not taken care of medically. It’s a time bomb, and they’re all very, very stressed out.”

His 70-year-old mother is at the camp, but so far she has not fallen ill.

Inda-Romero is planning a rally in Pear Park in Leesburg at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and a protest caravan.

“We hope,” he said, “this rally sets up other rallies in different parts of the country to let our families know, yes, they made a mistake, but that mistake should not end up in death. These are not death sentences these people have.”

Inda-Romero wants the bureau to release non-violent prisoners who are elderly or vulnerable.

He also wants to see improved medical care and testing and better food.

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