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January 3, 2021

New year round-up highlights more of the same struggles with COVID in incarceration nation

Gosh knows we all wish we could forget about COVID in this new year, and I sure wish the turn of the calendar would lead to a big turn in the stories of how the coronavirus is impacting prisons and the broader criminal justice system.  But, as this round-up of recent headlines and stories highlight, incarceration nation continues to be ravaged by COVID-19 in so many ways:

From the Anchorage Daily News, "Nearly every inmate in Alaska’s largest prison has now had COVID-19, officials say"

From the New York Times, "States Are Shutting Down Prisons as Guards are Crippled By Covid-19"

From Time, "With Over 275,000 Infections and 1,700 Deaths, COVID-19 Has Devastated the U.S. Prison and Jail Population"

From the Washington Post, "Early vaccination in prisons, a public health priority, proves politically charged"

From the Wisconsin State Journal, "‘They played with our lives’: How one Wisconsin prison failed to contain a COVID-19 outbreak"


From the AP, "COVID vaccine being administered at same Indiana prison where DOJ carries out executions"

From The Intercept, "How the Pandemic Exposed the Failures of Capital Punishment"

From NBC News, "Ohio inmate who survived execution attempt dies in prison of probable Covid-19"

I have broken out the "death penalty" pieces even as they highlight how the death penalty is necessarily intertwined with broader stories of incarceration.  I find the last of these pieces especially stunning as it reports that Rommel Broom, who survived a botched Ohio execution attempt way back in 2009 and had a pending US Supreme Court appeal seeking to preclude a second Ohio execution effort, could not survive the new death penalty that is COVID-19.

January 3, 2021 at 12:49 PM | Permalink


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