Behind Bars, the Fear of COVID-19 Is the Same as on the Outside
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked the public to take extra precautions, such as washing their hands frequently and avoiding public places. On March 11, President Trump announced a ban on travel from Europe for the next 30 days. Universities and schools across the country are closing and finding alternative ways to finish the semester.
COVID-19 BEHIND BARS
In prison, the fear of COVID-19 is the same as on the outside. But incarcerated men and women—and the correctional staff who must report to work every day—cannot always take the same precautions as the public. Even to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Medical care in prison is also restricted. The Department of Corrections will be doing their best with limited resources under difficult circumstances.
In prison it can be difficult to avoid areas with many people in them since prisoners share bathrooms, cafeterias, recreational areas, and visitation rooms. When outbreaks occur, prisons have three go-to options:
- Solitary confinement
- Restrictions on visitation
Some prisons are already taking precautions by restricting visitations. As the spread of COVID-19 increases, it is likely that other prisons will follow suit.
Currently the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC are providing updates and more information on COVID-19 for the public to stay informed. If you plan to visit a loved one behind bars, make sure to check the prison's website and social media ahead of time to see if visitations are still allowed. Or contact the prison directly.
Be sure to ask if the facility is making use of video visitation, waving association fees, or offering any other ways to support families during this time.
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