He Died In Jail From Coronavirus Over A Technicality

Prison hallway
William Anderson
April 23, 2020

People in jail could die from coronavirus (COVID-19), and authorities are brushing off the seriousness of that possibility. You might be thinking “people who commit crimes deserve whatever consequences come their way”

But that reasoning misses this disturbing reality.

The first person to die from COVID-19 in Rikers Island Jail in New York City was not their because of a criminal offense but rather a technicality: a parole violation! He was one of hundreds in jail there for that reason. Here’s how his death spells trouble for you on the outside.

As cases continue to explode among jail and prison inmate populations, among people detained unnecessarily, and within staff ranks too, these facilities aren’t doing what they claim is best for the general public. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Their lack of action will only spread the disease further - to innocent people inside as well as to the outside public. It is negligent and inhumane, but urgently preventable using these common sense solutions.

Community activists and even some prosecutors are calling for reforms to help release as many people as possible and reduce numbers of people going in. Prisons and jails don’t work, and COVID-19 shows these facilities were never meant to keep anyone safe!

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