The Coronavirus outbreak has overwhelmed the prison system; causing mass early releases, infected prisons, and abandoned inmates.
(Cover Photo: Jorge Colombo/NBC News)
Mass Early Releases For “Non-Risk” Inmates
The “Infected” Prison System
Nick Pinto from intercept.com reports: “Nationwide, according to Bureau of Prison statistics, the number of positive cases of coronavirus in federal jails and prisons exploded by 8,600 percent in the two weeks since March 20 — an increase that’s especially concerning given the vulnerability of the people locked in conditions they can’t control. By Bureau of Prison estimates, roughly a third of the people incarcerated in MDC and MCC are at elevated risk of severe illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s standards.”
What’s An Inmate To Do?
The New York Times article ‘We’re Left for Dead’: Fears of Virus Catastrophe at Rikers Jail gives a glimpse of the chaos behind the prison walls. The article goes on to say:
“Fear of the virus has grown among inmates and correction officers, several said in interviews. Some incarcerated people have refused to do the work assigned to them or have started disturbances, demanding more cleaning supplies and masks. Others said that correction officers who are assigned to taking people to clinics have ignored their requests for medical attention. Some correction officers said they did not have the necessary equipment to protect themselves from the virus, and that they had received little guidance from leadership.”
“Leaving Us Here To Die”
Inmates are being infected at alarming rates and abandoned, left to die in their cells. Prison officials and guards uselessly stand idle, paranoid of catching the virus while defenseless prisoners who weren’t lucky enough to be released early hang on for dear life.