- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
A California appeals court temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate for prison workers.
A judge previously issued the mandate, slated to begin January 12, after it was recommended by the court-appointed receiver who manages the prison health care system.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association had said the mandate could create staff shortages, the Associated Press reported.
An appeals court in California on Friday temporarily halted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for prison workers in the state that was slated to take place next month.
The mandate was scheduled to take effect on January 12, but is blocked until at least March when a hearing will take place, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The mandate had been ordered by a US district judge in September based on the recommendation of the court-appointed receiver who manages the state prison health care system. A federal judge in 2005 had ordered someone appointed to such the position after finding the California prison system had not provided adequate health care to inmates, according to the AP report.
The decision to temporarily block the mandate was made by a panel of judges on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, per the report.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who supported a vaccine mandate or regular COVID-19 testing for state workers, including workers in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, also opposed the mandate for prison workers, the AP reported.
"Since early in this pandemic, CDCR has implemented rigorous COVID safety measures, including mandatory masking, twice weekly testing for staff and the early rollout of vaccines for incarcerated people and staff," a spokesperson for Newsom told the Los Angeles Times earlier in November.
Newsom had sided with the powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which argued that the mandate could lead to shortages in prison workers and create a "crisis" in the state prison system, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Steven Fama, an attorney for the non-profit Prison Law Office, which represents prisoners in California, told the outlet he believed Newsom opposed the mandate because the California Correctional Peace Officers Association had supported him in the recall election earlier this year.
According to the LA Times, the organization donated $1.75 million to an organization that supported Newsom in the race.
Don Specter, director of the Prison Law Office, told the AP the judge's decision Friday to halt the mandate "puts both the prison staff and the incarcerated population at greater risk of infection."
The mandate was designed to prevent further outbreaks in California prisons. An outbreak in 2020 killed 28 inmates and a correctional officer at the San Quentin State Prison, the AP reported.
Read the original article on Business Insider