Covid Thrives in Prisons
Incarcerated Americans face potential disaster during coronavirus outbreak
With more than 2 million prisoners held in thousands of detention centres across the US, the alarm is sounding about the dangers posed to this vulnerable population during the current pandemic.
"People are housed 100 in a dorm...there is no soap. It is like a horror movie", says a Legal Aid Society practitioner describing Brooklyn's detention centres. At least 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York's detention facilities, including some awaiting trial. As social distancing measures in prisons also come at a cost to human rights, with officers cutting all communication with the outside, advocates are calling on the Trump administration to facilitate the release of the vulnerable. However, to date, fewer than 200 have been released. "We have designed a petri dish to spread the pandemic" says Amanda Klonsky, prison educator and advocate. "An outbreak in a prison will be a death sentence for many thousands of people."FULL SYNOPSIS