March 27, 2020
“We offer five areas where quick action could slow the spread of the viral pandemic in prisons and jails and in society as a whole.”
The United States incarcerates a greater share of its population than any other nation in the world, so it is urgent that policymakers take the public health case for criminal justice reform seriously and make necessary changes to protect people in prisons, in jails, on probation, and on parole.
Here are five places to focus:
1.Reduce the number of people in local jails.
2. Reduce the number of people in state and federal prisons.
3. Eliminate unnecessary face-to-face contact for justice-involved people.
4. Make correctional healthcare humane (and efficient) in a way that protects both health and human dignity.
5. Don’t make this time more stressful for families (or more profitable for prison telephone providers) than absolutely necessary.
This piece is a commentary, part of The Appeal’s collection of opinion and analysis.
WDSU 6 News
March 27, 2020
The Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety plans to house inmates who test positive for the coronavirus, including those from all over the state who have not been convicted of crimes, at one of two state prisons, the department said.
Local sheriff’s offices with the resources to treat jailed coronavirus patients at their local jails should to do so, said Ken Pastorick, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections. Operators of local jails not equipped to treat coronavirus patients, as well as other state prisons, can transfer inmates with COVID-19 to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, which is often referred to as Angola, and to Allen Correctional Center, according to the plan.
Prison Policy Initiative updates
March 27, 2020
by Peter Wagner and Emily Widra
” We previously published a list of common sense reforms that could slow the spread of the virus in jails and prisons. In light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the U.S., and specifically in prisons and jails, we found it necessary to update these recommendations with more detail about who has the power and responsibility to enact policy change, and how to reform the criminal justice system in the midst of a public health crisis.
Quick action is necessary for three reasons: Correctional staff and incarcerated populations are already testing positive, the justice-involved population disproportionately has health conditions that make them more vulnerable, and the staffing resources required to make policy changes will be depleted long before the pandemic peaks. “
BY JACQUELINE DeROBERTIS | Staff writer Published Mar 28, 2020
March 29, 2020
By Rich Schapiro
A 47-year-old inmate died Saturday after contracting the coronavirus at a Louisiana federal prison where at least five prisoners have tested positive for the virus, officials said.
The death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19 related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.
Jones was locked up on drug charges at a minimum-security prison in Oakdale facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, according to the Bureau of Prisons and union leaders.
Ashley Baker started this petition to Governor John Bel Edwards
I just wanted to share a letter that went to the U.S. Attorney General Barr from Chairman Nadler and Representative Bass urging the release of as many people as possible from federal custody with no exceptions based on offense. The letter also outlines the many concerns with last week’s memorandum to BOP placing restrictions on home confinement. (https://www.justice.gov/file/1262731/download)