CORONAVIRUS AND JUSTICE
Selection of news and resources on coronavirus in jails and prisons
States deal with highly vulnerable population differently
There is too much news on coronavirus and how it is affecting the justice system to do a comprehensive capture, so here is a selection of what’s out there.
FROM THE INSIDE:
Justice Policy Institute | ACLU-DC | ACLU-DC | Prison Policy Initiative | Sentencing Project | ACLU | ACLU New Jersey | San Francisco Public Defender | RAPP | RAPP Press Conference | RAPP statement on Sing Sing CO’s positive test | Innocence Project on first positive test on Rikers Island
UCLA Database on Prisons and COVID19 | Prison Policy Initiative 5 Ways the Prison System Could Slow the Pandemic | National Tracker Covid-19 Behind Bars | John’s Hopkins Faculty Express Urgent Concern About Covid-19 Spread in Prison | Correctional Facilities In The Shadow Of COVID-19: Unique Challenges And Proposed Solutions | Stop Solitary for Kids COVID-19 Resources | CJJR Resources for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare | Senator Grassley+ letter to AG Barr | CDC Guidance for Management of COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities | Letter to Washington, D.C. leadership | PPI State-by-state justice system responses to COVID-19 | Decarcerate DC Petition | BOP COVID19 Tracking
New York Times | April 23, 2020 | No One Deserves to Die of Covid-19 in Jail. But more than 100 inmates already have.
Washington Post | April 10, 2020 | America’s 2.3 million prisoners are sitting ducks for this virus. Here’s how to save them.
Auburn News | April 9, 2020 | Our view: Creative solutions required to stop COVID-19 spread in New York’s prisons
News and Observer | April 8, 2020 | Officials can’t duck COVID-19 nightmare at Butner
The Observer | April 8, 2020 | Editorial: Keep COVID-19 out of our jails, prisons and detention centers
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 2, 2020 | Defuse the ticking time bomb of coronavirus in jails and prisons
San Antonio Express-News | March 17, 2020 | Editorial: Is the Bexar County jail ready for COVID-19?
Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2020 | Coroavirus’ other vulnerable population: prisoners
CNN | April 20, 2020 | Releasing prisoners during Covid-19 crisis makes good sense
Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2020 | Jail population needs to be reduced to prevent spread of coronavirus
Chronicle of Social Change | April 8, 2020 | Stop a Coronavirus Disaster: Release Kids from Juvenile Facilities
The Crime Report | April 2, 2020 | After the COVID-19 Release of Prisoners, Who Will Help Them?
The Appeal | March 27, 2020 | OUR LEADERS HAVE THE POWER TO RELEASE PEOPLE IN PRISON. NOW THEY MUST USE IT.
The Hill | March 26, 2020 | COVID-19 gives us an urgent argument for compassionate release
Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2020 | To limit coronavirus spread, reduce jail and prison population
New York Times | March 16, 2020 | An Epicenter of the Pandemic Will Be Jails and Prisons, if Inaction Continues: The conditions inside, which are inhumane, are now a threat to any American with a jail in their county — that’s everyone.
New York Times | March 13, 2020 | Our Courts and Jails Are Putting Lives at Risk: Across the country, it’s mostly business as usual in the justice system. And that’s inviting the spread of the coronavirus.
Washington Post |March 17, 2020 | We must release prisoners to lessen the spread of coronavirus
New York Daily News | March 18, 2020 | With coronavirus running wild, it’s the exact wrong time to pack more people in jails and prisons
FOX News | March 18, 2020 | Tolman and Harris: Coronavirus crisis requires this action be taken for elderly prison inmates
NATIONAL NEWS (state-by-state below the photo):
ABC News | April 4, 2020 | No COVID-19 tests available for prisoners at center of New York outbreak, court documents show
NPR | April 6, 2020 | Inmates, Staff On Edge As COVID-19 Spreads Through Federal Prisons
New York Times | March 30, 2020 | Prisoners ‘Terrified’ as Coronavirus Spreads Behind Bars: Some jails are releasing people as the virus gains a foothold inside, but critics say it is not happening quickly enough to save lives and resources.
The Appeal | March 30, 2020 | CORONAVIRUS PROMPTS URGENT CALLS FOR MINORS IN DETENTION TO BE RELEASED: ‘Continuing to maintain these youths in this hotbed of contagion poses an unconscionable and entirely preventable risk of harm,’ one lawsuit states.
AP | March 27, 2020 | Federal prisons struggle to combat growing COVID-19 fears
Washington Post | March 25, 2020 | ‘Disaster waiting to happen’: Thousands of inmates released as jails and prisons face coronavirus threat
NPR | March 24, 2020 | As COVID-19 Spreads, Calls Grow To Protect Inmates In Federal Prisons
Wired | March 24, 2020 | Covid-19 Poses a Heightened Threat in Jails and Prisons: An outbreak could seriously harm staff, the incarcerated, and the surrounding community. Releasing inmates could help — if they have somewhere to go.
The Appeal | March 23, 2020 | HISTORY TEACHES US THAT WHEN VIRUSES COME TO PRISONS, PUNISHMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER
Wall Street Journal | March 22, 2020 | Jails Release Prisoners, Fearing Coronavirus Outbreak: Experts say virus could spread quickly in crowded correctional facilities, which are also banning visitors and restricting inmates’ movements.
Forbes | March 22, 2020 | The COVID-19 Prison Crisis Is About To Become A Community Crisis
Newsy | March 19, 2020 | Advocates Want Older Inmates Released Before Coronavirus Hits Prisons
Washington Post | March 19, 2020 | Prosecutors, defense attorneys press to release inmates, drop charges and thin jail population in response to the coronavirus
CNN | March 18, 2020 | New coronavirus cases in US jails heighten concerns about an unprepared system
BBC | March 18, 2020 | US jails begin releasing prisoners to stem Covid-19 infections
HuffPo | March 16, 2020 | The Only Way To Protect Elderly Prisoners From Coronavirus Is To Release Them
The Hill | March 18, 2020 | ACLU calls on Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Prisons to release prisoners vulnerable to coronavirus
Marshall Project | March 6, 2020 | When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?
New Yorker | March 14, 2020 | How Prisons and Jails Can Respond to the Coronavirus
USA Today | March 17, 2020 | Prisons restrict inmates, staffers’ movements as they try to keep coronavirus out
The Crime Report | March 18, 2020 | Bring Detained Kids, Elderly Inmates Home During Pandemic, Advocates Say
The Crime Report | March 20, 2020 | Juvenile Agency Chiefs Join Calls to Release Jailed Youth
WTVA | April 18, 2020 | Alabama prison system reports COVID-19 death, cases
Montgomery Adviser | March 31, 2020 | Coronavirus: Gov. Kay Ivey urged to expedite Alabama paroles of older inmates amid outbreak
Fox10 | April 8, 2020 | Officials: 2 Arizona prison inmates test positive for COVID-19, receive treatment
LATimes | April 7, 2020 | Coronavirus has led to thousands of early releases from prisons and jails. Not in Arizona
KOLD 13 | March 24, 2020 | Concern spreads over potential COVID-19 outbreak in state prisons
WMC5 | April 7, 2020 | Inmates fear for their safety inside Arkansas prison with COVID-19 outbreak
KPIX5 | April 20, 2020 | Second Inmate At SF Jail Tests Positive For COVID-19, Showed No Symptoms
NBC4LA | April 19, 2020 | California Reports 1st Prison Inmate Death Caused by COVID-19
Santa Barbara Independent | April 18, 2020 | Lompoc Prison, Crawling with COVID-19, Reports First Inmate Death
KRON4 | April 8, 2020 | 11 inmates fall ill with COVID-19 in Alameda County Jail
KCRC | April 6, 2020 | CDCR: 7 inmates tested for COVID-19 at Pelican Bay State Prison, 0 confirmed, so far
Fox 40 | March 25, 2020 | Third COVID-19 case reported among California State Prison, Sacramento employees
Los Angeles Daily News | March 22, 2020 | State prison inmate in Lancaster, 2 prison employees in Chino test positive for coronavirus
LA Times | March 16, 2020 | L.A. County releasing some inmates from jail to combat coronavirus
LA Times | March 17, 2020 | Coronavirus has authorities putting more police on streets, releasing inmates from jails
The Appeal | March 16, 2020 | To stop coronavirus, places where people gather are shutting down across California. What about its jails? Activists are calling on the governor, district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Appeal | March 11, 2020 | San Francisco Officials Push to Reduce Jail Population to Prevent Coronavirus Outbreak. The public defender and district attorney both directed their staffs to keep individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus out of jail.
Washington Post | April 19, 2020 | Judge orders emergency D.C. jail overhaul of medical, cleaning, ‘social distancing’ practices and defense lawyer access to stem coronavirus
WAMU | March 25, 2020 | Men In D.C.’s Federal Halfway House Say They Are Stuck Inside Without Essential Supplies
Washington City Paper | March 19, 2020 | DC Jail Inmate Tested for Coronavirus, 67 Quarantined Due to Possible Exposure
Washington Post |March 18, 2020 | U.S. marshal at D.C. Superior Court tests positive
The Appeal | March 18, 2020 | Washington, D.C. Continues Low-level Arrests Amid Pandemic: The Metropolitan Police Department has discussed reducing arrests, but it has not formally announced any changes.
Taylar Speaks Blog | March 16, 2020 | Central Cell Block and Court Lock-Up: A Glimpse into DC Department of Corrections and DC Superior Court’s Failure to Implement CDC COVID-19 Hygiene Protocol for Inmates
Jacksonville Free Press | April 8, 2020 | Black Caucus Urges Florida Governor to Take Extra Precautions for Inmates Amid Covic-19 Concerns
FloridaPolitics.com | March 24, 2020 | Florida prisoner advocates on edge after Marion employee tests positive for coronavirus
New York Times | March 17, 2020 | ‘We Are Not a Hospital’: A Prison Braces for the Coronavirus: In places where social distancing is impossible and medical care strained, bars won’t stop the infection’s spread.
Atlanta Journal Constitution | April 20, 2020 | Ga. prisons see major spike in COVID-19 cases
Atlanta Journal Constitution | April 20, 2020 | Georgia jails and prison remain crowded as COVID-19 spreads
Atlanta Journal Constitution | April 8, 2020 | Fulton public defenders petition for wider release of jail inmates
Atlanta Journal Constitution | March 24, 2020 | Hall, Fulton counties releasing nonviolent offenders early as virus looms
Atlanta Journal Constitution | March 24, 2020 | Four more Lee State prisoners tested for COVID-19
Bellvue Herald-Leader | March 22, 2020 | Iowa’s prisons will accelerate release of approved inmates to mitigate COVID-19
NPR | April 13, 2020 | The COVID-19 Struggle In Chicago’s Cook County Jail
Chicago Sun Times | April 5, 2020 | 2nd Stateville prison inmate dies of COVID-19
WGN9 | April 2, 2020 | Suit seeks Illinois inmates’ release due to COVID-19
Chicago Sun Times | March 12, 2020 | Pritzker should release elderly, ailing prisoners from state jails amid coronavirus outbreak, activists say. There are nearly 7,800 incarcerated people in state prisons age 50 or older. Advocates say many, if not most, of them could be safely released to the public.
WAFB9 | April 20, 2020 | Louisiana prison warden dies of COVID-19
Washington Post | April 9, 2020 | Inside the deadliest federal prison, the seeping coronavirus creates fear and danger
KLFY | April 6, 2020 | ACLU sues for release of prisoners at Oakdale Federal Prison for COVID-19 concerns
NOLA.com | March 17, 2020 | Arrests in New Orleans continue but jail population drops in face of coronavirus
NOLA.com | March 15, 2020 | New Orleans sheriff says he won’t transport inmates to court due to coronavirus threat
The Lens | March 12, 2020 | Public defenders request the release of all non-violent offenders in jail due to coronavirus
Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2020 | With coronavirus spreading, Maryland Gov. Hogan signs order for expedited release of hundreds of prisoners
WJZ13 | April 8, 2020 | Marylanders Worry About Loved Ones Behind Bars Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2020 | Maryland prison system confirms first coronavirus cases
Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2020 | 200 Hopkins medical faculty pen letter asking Gov. Hogan to protect inmates from coronavirus
Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2020 | Mosby, medical professionals ramp up calls for Maryland to release elderly and low-risk prisoners to stem coronavirus
Public News Service | March 16, 2020 | Coronavirus in Prisons: Advocates Urge Release of Geriatric Population
Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2020 | Man awaiting trial on Baltimore drug conspiracy charges wants out of prison, citing his health amid COVID concerns
Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2020 | Maryland jails are incubators for the coronavirus and precautions must be taken to avoid an outbreak, experts say
Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2020 | Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus
WGBH | April 2, 2020 | First Massachusetts Inmate Dies From COVID-19
WBUR News | March 21, 2020 | 1st Mass. Prisoner Diagnosed With COVID-19
CNN | April 19, 2020 | Michigan inmate who spent decades in prison dies of Covid-19 just before his release
Buzzfeed | April 16, 2020 | The High COVID-19 Infection Rate At This Michigan Prison Has Inmates Fearing For Their Health
WWMT | April 8, 2020 | Second Michigan prison inmate dies from COVID-19 in Coldwater
The Daily News | April 4, 2020 | Prisoner dies in cell, COVID-19 virus spreads to 200 inmates in Michigan
The Daily News | March 19, 2020 | Changes to jail, prison protocols made in response to COVID-19
Mother Jones | March 20, 2020 | Fearing Coronavirus Inside Prison: “They’re Like ‘Nothing’s Wrong.’ Then Why Do You Guys Have Masks On?”
MCIR | March 23, 2020 | Fear of coronavirus keeping some employees away from already understaffed Parchman prison
New York Times | March 23, 2020 | 1,000 Inmates Will Be Released From N.J. Jails to Curb Coronavirus Risk
National Review | March 23, 2020 | New Jersey to Release Hundreds of Inmates to Slow Coronavirus Spread
Politico | March 23, 2020 | Up to 1,000 inmates in New Jersey ordered released
Guardian | April 17, 2020 | I’m in prison in New York. Many are sick with Covid-19 — and I fear for our safety
The City | April 6, 2020 | FEELING VULNERABLE BEHIND BARS AS CORONAVIRUS SPREADS ON RIKERS ISLAND
The City | April 6, 2020 | FIRST RIKERS VIRUS-POSITIVE FATALITY WAS JAILED ON TECHNICALITY
Slate | April 2, 2020 | Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island: Soap and space are still in short supply as at least 231 incarcerated people and 223 staff members test positive for COVID-19.
New York Magazine | April 1, 2020 | ‘We’re Going to All Start Dropping’: Rikers Inmates on Life as Prisoners of COVID-19
Washington Post | March 23, 2020 | ‘Trapped on Rikers’: Jails and prisons face coronavirus catastrophe as officials slowly authorize releases
NBC 4 News | March 22, 2020 | 21 Inmates, 17 Employees Test Positive for COVID-19 on Rikers Island: Officials At least 38 inmates and employees have tested positive for COVID-19 on Rikers Island in New York City, officials confirmed over the weekend
NBC News | March 17, 2020 | Employee at Sing Sing prison tests positive for coronavirus, triggering broader fears: “This is going to be absolutely catastrophic inside prisons, particularly with the U.S. having an aging population,” said one advocate.
The Crime Report | March 19, 2020 | NYC Mayor Pressured for COVID-19 Jail Safety Plan
The Intercept | March 18, 2020 | Coronavirus has arrived at Rikers Island: Inside New York City jails, where the pandemic is set to explode
ABC11 | April 9, 2020 | Civil rights group files lawsuit to stop the spread of COVID-19 in NC prisons
News and Observed | April 5, 2020 | 7 state prison inmates in NC have now tested positive for COVID-19
NPR | April 20, 2020 | 73% Of Inmates At An Ohio Prison Test Positive For Coronavirus
WCPO9 | April 20, 2020 | As COVID-19 testing ramps up, more and more cases discovered in Ohio’s prisons
Cincinnati.com | April 7, 2020 | Coronavirus in Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine plans to release some prison inmates due to COVID-19
ABC6 | April 6, 2020 | More COVID-19 cases confirmed among Ohio prisoners, staff
WKBN27 | April 5, 2020 | Another inmate dies at Elkton prison from COVID-19, staff members test positive
ABC6 | April 5, 2020 | Ohio prisons, inmates dealing with COVID-19 pandemic in close quarters
OPB | March 17, 2020 | Advocates And Sheriffs Worry Prison, Jails Could Be Incubators For COVID-19
CBS21 | April 8, 2020 | Justice advocates want some youth released from detention facilities amid pandemic
Philadelphia Inquirer | March 18, 2020 | With courts closed by pandemic, Philly police stop low-level arrests to manage jail crowding
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 | March 17, 2020 | Possible release of some Allegheny County Jail inmates under coronavirus judicial emergency: Under sweeping emergency powers granted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Allegheny County’s president judge suspended most criminal court events and all civil trials.
Time | March 25, 2020 | After a South Dakota Jail Confirmed a Coronavirus Case, 8 Inmates Escaped
The State | April 6, 2020 | Inmate at SC jail tests positive for coronavirus, 35 more in isolation, cops say
The Leader | April 20, 2020 | There’s a COVID-19 outbreak at the prison in Mason
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | April 20, 2020 | Sick, elderly and fearing coronavirus: Life inside Fort Worth’s women’s federal prison
Houston.com | April 8, 2020 | 15 Texas prisons units on lockdown as Houston area parole facility sees first COVID-19 case
KWTX10 | March 26, 2020 | Texas prison unit employee tests positive for COVID-19
KDFW4 | March 26, 2020 | Five inmates in Dallas County jail diagnosed with COVID-19
Dallas Morning News | March 18, 2020 | Dallas’ criminal justice community worries about canceled jury trials, jail population: Commissioner John Wiley Price is worried the county jail will quickly become overcrowded
Virginia Mercury | April 21, 2020 | Virginia prison officials struck confident tone as COVID-19 spread. Now cases are soaring.
wvtf radio | March 17, 2020 | Are Virginia Prisons Prepared for COVID-19?
Herald.net | April 9, 2020 | COVID-19 outbreak worsens at Monroe prison
Buzzfeed | March 18, 2020 | Here’s What Happened To Two Prisoners When A Guard Got The Coronavirus: “I cannot help but linger on the faces of the elderly prisoners, some of them who have been like father figures to us younger men, and think about how they are unlikely to survive this.”
Crosscut | March 18, 2020 | Coronavirus has jail lawyers worried about safety — for clients and themselves. Defense attorneys want judges to release more inmates, as a King County guard tests positive for COVID-19.
The Seattle Times | March 13, 2020 | Staffer at Monroe state prison tests positive for coronavirus, DOC says