COVID-19 Risks Prompt Some California Counties to Ease Jail Populations

“Many county correctional facilities throughout California are reducing their teeming populations to prevent large-scale COVID-19 outbreaks. The dorm rooms, dining halls, and recreation areas in many of these institutions are breeding grounds for spreading the virus, experts say.

People have been complaining for weeks that inmates don’t have hand sanitizer or equipment like masks to protect themselves and that cramped quarters make it impossible to practice social distancing, said Sonja Tonnesen-Casalegno of Roots & Rebound, which runs a legal advice hotline for people incarcerated in California. An uncontrolled outbreak among jail populations would be impossible to contain within jailhouse walls. Correctional staff and other workers constantly enter and exit these facilities, and it is not hard to imagine the coronavirus being spread by them to surrounding communities.”

APRIL 24, 2020 by Claudia Boyd-Barrett



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