Prison Transfers May Be Leading To COVID-19 Outbreaks Behind Bars

The Marshall Project reports, families are frustrated with prison authorities who push back on the possibility of connecting transfers to the origin of COVID outbreaks.

By Kristen Cabrera & Alexandra HartDecember 29, 2020 12:37 pm, ,

While jurisdictions around the country enacted stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of COVID-19, many prisons across the U.S. were still actively transferring incarcerated people between facilities. As the Marshall Project reports, families are pointing to these transfers as reasons entire prison blocks have been infected, endangering prisoners and civilians alike.

Cary Aspinwall, who has been writing about this for the nonprofit Marshall Project, says the group, with the Associated Press, have been tracking COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in prisons across the country, as well as changes in facility procedures since the pandemic.

“One [procedure] about restricting visitation for families that can’t go visit their loved ones,” Aspinwall says. “And when we all locked down, most of the prisons did, too. They all kind of stopped taking transfers from county jails into the state prisons. But not all of them.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What happened in an Amarillo Prison

– Why prison authorities doubt that transfers are the cause of the COVID-19 outbreaks

– What families are saying about the prisons’ reactions to the outbreaks

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