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Judge grants bail to COVID-positive Valley Street jail inmate

  • The state's largest county jail, in Manchester, has a little over 200 inmates. Less than 15 have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

NH Public Radio
Published: 1/3/2021 8:43:55 PM

A judge has granted bail to an inmate in Manchester’s Valley Street Jail who tested positive for COVID-19.

The New Year’s Eve order from Hillsborough County Superior Court grants home confinement to 37-year-old William Jones, under his mother’s supervision.

He was being held in preventive detention at the county facility, pending trial.

Jones tested positive for COVID-19 just over a week ago. He’s considered high-risk for severe complications due to other medical conditions.

In his ruling a day after a lengthy hearing, Judge Charles Temple says Jones wasn’t properly quarantined from other inmates and staff. 

Temple says evidence shows testing at the jail has been “virtually non-existent” since the pandemic began. At the trial, the facility’s superintendent testified that 22 staff who have been tested came back positive, along with Jones and another inmate.

Temple writes that not every sick inmate should need bail, since prisons are supposed to care for them. He says jail officials have shown “deliberate indifference” and a “cavalier attitude” toward a vulnerable patient.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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