Mother fears for son’s life in prison during COVID-19 outbreak


LINCOLN COUNTY, Ark. — The Governor adding more than 600 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and many are asymptomatic. There are about 1,200 inmates in the prison altogether.

We spoke with a mom who said her son is behind bars, and she doesn’t know if he is healthy or not.

“I miss my son. I feel hopeless,” said Sandra Shaw the mother of the son who is in prison.

Taking every precaution, because she has underlying conditions. Shaw is reaching out in hopes of getting in contact with her child.

“I haven’t heard from my son,” said Shaw.

Her son, Vaulah Shaw is an inmate at Cummins Prison. He’s been in the state prison for two years, but the trial of a pandemic outbreak is not something she thought he would have to face.

“Yes, he needs to do the time for the crime he committed, but he doesn’t have to die behind it,” said Shaw.

She said she hasn’t heard from him and doesn’t know if he is counted in the hundreds who have tested positive for COVID-19. She’s also concerned because she says he has other medical issues.

“He has high blood pressure and borderline diabetes, he’s a candidate for one of these people to lose their life because he is not healthy,” said Shaw.

She said she has been asking for his status because his family is left wondering.

“I really don’t want him to catch the virus,” said Storm Williams, Vaulah’s sister.

As they wait for answers the Department of Corrections said the positive inmates have been isolated in separate barracks. The state inmates are being tested regardless of them showing symptoms to identify who has COVID-19.

In the meantime, Shaw has a message to her son.

“Somebody tell my son I love him,” said Shaw.

Out of the 600 that have tested positive the state says only 3 have been hospitalized.

On March 16 the Department of Corrections suspended inmate visitation.

That has been extended until at least June 1.

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