The Risk Of Being In Prison During A Pandemic Is Huge

Empty prison cell
William Anderson
March 16, 2020

COVID-19, also known as “coronavirus,”  is scary for a lot of reasons. The rapid spread, limited testing, and uncertainty are posing a big threat to countries across the world trying to get it under control. However, there’s one place where the outbreak could hit especially hard.

Prisons at the state and federal level are especially susceptible to the outbreak. People inside, forced to live in unsanitary conditions in close quarters, are unable to access the resources they need to fight the outbreak through the needed precautionary measures.

People are being told to wash their hands as often as possible, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many use hand sanitizer to feel more safe, but that’s not always an option behind bars. Sanitizer may be banned at some facilities since it has alcohol in it. Sadly, the limitations don’t stop there.

While tests are scarce on the outside, imagine being confined where healthcare is ALREADY subpar. Cells are not places known for their cleanliness and, even worse, in-person visitors could be affected too.

These problems are being ignored for a disturbing reason.

The masses of Black people that make up far too much of America's prison population are seen as worthless, undeserving of any care. But we don’t have to buy into that. Being locked up is NOT a reason someone should be neglected or forgotten. Black lives matter in prisons and jails, too.

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