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Five lessons pandemics can teach us about criminal justice reform

[ – 2/6/20]

No need to wait for pandemics: The public health case for criminal justice reform
We offer five examples of policies that could slow the spread of a viral pandemic in prisons and jails – and would mitigate the everyday impact of incarceration on public health.
by Peter Wagner and Emily Widra

The United States incarcerates a greater share of its population than any other nation in the world, so it is urgent that policymakers think about how a viral pandemic would impact people in prisons, in jails, on probation, and on parole, and to take seriously the public health case for criminal justice reform.

Below, we offer five examples of common sense policies that could slow the spread of the virus. This is not an exhaustive list, but a first step for governors and other state-level leaders to engage today, to be followed by further much-needed changes tomorrow.

Quick action is necessary for two reasons: the justice-involved population disproportionately has health conditions that make them more vulnerable — such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and HIV — and making policy changes requires staffing resources that will be unavailable if a pandemic hits.

The incarcerated and justice-involved populations contain a number of groups that may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Protecting vulnerable people would improve outcomes for them, reduce the burden on the health care system, protect essential correctional staff from illness, and slow the spread of the disease.

Read the full article


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We seem to have selective alarmism in America when it comes to life-and-death threats.

The Government tells society who and what to fear, but only if they’re able to profit from it!

No Less Will Do …😠💪😤👨‍✈️

The government is urging people, especially those over 60, to avoid mass crowds.
How’s this going to work when the corona virus hits prisons?

Taking that a step further in these times of splendid self-isolation, is there another scenario where it is a crime (yes, a crime) to not venture out into public and spend time rubbing shoulders in a possibly crowded room with a bunch of strangers? Every 30, 90 or 365 days. For a person, mind you, not incarcerated, not on parole or probation. While there is a law against not showing up, I doubt there is a law against open and emphatic (sure, rude) coughing, sneezing and sniffling at the counter 🙂 Would I hate to be the person tasked with… Read more »

The distraction from the apparent pandemic threat from virus covid-19 sure lends the perfect opportunity.

“The United States incarcerates a greater share of its population than any other nation in the world”
So we in-prison more people than any of the so called civilized societies. And this country’s Gov want to be a leading example in the world.

The US incarcerates a greater share of its population because they’re willing to send offenders who’d never touched or communicated with a child to prison. Even authoritarian countries don’t do that

Who in the hell thinks we can trust these political hacks with no common sense to handle a situation like this “flu.” The entire world is freaking out because of something that has infected under 200,000 people so far out of over 7 billion. Even in China with over a billion people the shit is already slowing down and if it was that bad millions of people would have been impacted and died in China and surrounding localities. This is insane, they are going to collapse our not only our society but the world economy and guess what? they can… Read more »

Okay I may be wrong about how bad this is. I just seen where in Italy they have been having over 300 deaths a day. Now that is scary. Maybe they are not over-reacting. Who’s to say man, the media and politicians are soooo corrupt. I just really hope this doesn’t collapse society as we know it. I have a son who lives paycheck to paycheck in order to provide for my grandkids, what happens they tell him he cannot go to work? Rent still needs to get paid, food, utilities.

We are seeing the politics of fear being played out on a global scale that can work at our favor in turning people against the Registry. These mass isolations, movement restrictions, and some level of xenophobia will create a form of mass shared experiences that can illicit improved understanding and empathy for Registrants. Especially for CA during the November election. I believe that we can influence the people in our lives to vote against the ballot measure of labeling Tier 3 offenders as violent. After going through these shared experiences of isolation, restrictions, and being treated as a social leper… Read more »

People won’t instantly feel sympathy for registrants due to coronavirus and the media frenzy. This is a time when minutemen are itching to exercise their Walking Dead disaster plans and won’t hesitate to create the scene of their dreams. Unscrupulous district attorneys and politicians can and will bend these events to their gain. For instance, many schools are closed and kids are home now. One bad rso story now during all this would be a perfect opportunity to keep pushing the “public safety” agenda. The ones trying to secure the system are ALWAYS looking for the angles to play while… Read more »

@ Everybody There is apparently more than one Bill on this site: There’s “Bill” from MI and there’s lower case “bill”. From this point on I will use “Bill from CA” to avoid confusion… @ w I believe that fear of a police state is also in the heart of many people as well. It is especially evident in Black and Latino communities. And “unscrupulous” politicians and district attorneys don’t have the same sway over the masses because social media has leveled the playing field where a single individual’s video can go viral and influence people. As for myself I… Read more »

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