by Abbie VanSickle
The Marshall Project
The coronavirus-stricken prisoners kept off the books. Officials in Santa Barbara County faced a dilemma weeks ago. They desperately wanted permission from California authorities to “reopen” their local economy as the coronavirus ebbed in the state. But a major outbreak of COVID-19 at FCI Lompoc, the federal prison there, had skewed the metrics. Santa Barbara resolved its problem by lobbying state officials to exclude prisoners from relevant public health analyses. “It’s a fiction,” says a justice reform advocate. It’s also a scenario likely to be repeated in other counties across the country where prisons are COVID-19 hotspots. Read more...
by Madison Alder
Judges are interpreting the law on the fly as they face an unprecedented spike in requests for “compassionate release” from prison, coming to different conclusions about what can be done in the context of a pandemic. The swell of requests for what’s known as compassionate release come after the passage of a law, written before the Covid-19 outbreak, that made it easier for those requests to be filed with the courts.
by C.J. Ciaramella
"The numbers and dire news stories underscore what civil liberties groups and correctional officer unions have been trying to warn local, state, and federal agencies about since COVID-19 reached the country: that jails and prisons were woefully unprepared to handle an epidemic, and that those institutions would inevitably spread the virus into nearby communities unless drastic measures were taken."
by Megan Crepeau
"Jeffrey Pendleton spent much of his adult life in a cell...Warren and his surviving brother, Donnell Todd, have sued Cook County in federal court, alleging that the sheriff’s office violated his rights by shackling him to his hospital bed in his final days.
'You should not even leave a dog chained up all day, not even animals should be chained up all day. He was chained up for days. And sick,' Pendleton said.
'That was an injustice to my brother. First of all he wasn’t convicted, he was a detainee. Awaiting trial, he couldn’t even go to trial because they shut the court system down," he said. "Nobody, incarcerated or detainee, they should not be dying in there. Nobody should die in there.'"
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive