The policy mistakes from the 1990s that have made covid-19 worse



The Washington Post

“Covid-19 is terrifying for those who live and work inside prisons, their families and the broader community. Governments have moved sluggishly, if at all, to release elderly and medically compromised people, or sufficient numbers of the nearly 800,000 people who are locked in crowded jails each day simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. The overcrowding that remains has contributed directly to the outbreaks at these facilities. An astonishing number of people inside of Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution, more than 80 percent, now have covid-19, and their infections are already spreading to the outside public.
Notably, however, we might have been spared so much of this recent trauma altogether if we had simply paid closer attention to what was happening in the nation’s prisons, in its poorest neighborhoods and in the halls of Congress, in the 1990s.”

– Heather Ann Thompson

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Photo courtesy of Christ Carlson/AP, via The Washington Post.