John Oliver on Covid-19 in Prisons

John Oliver on Covid-19 in Prisons

June 22, 2020

Last night John Oliver spent 18 minutes on how prisons are a breeding ground for Covid-19. He also pointed out that prisons have inadequate supplies of protective equipment, soap, and Purell.  Moreover, most prisons are putting inmates in solitary confinement as a way to deal with Covid-19. The Unlock the Box Campaign recently released a Report, Solitary Confinement is Never the Answer. Here are five key findings of this report:

  • COVID-19 has led to an explosion in the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers.

  • While COVID-19 presents a grave and growing threat to incarcerated people and correctional staff, the use of solitary confinement will increase, rather than curb, the spread of the virus.

  • Significantly reducing prison and jail populations remains the best way to protect the health and safety of incarcerated people, correctional staff, and communities from COVID-19.

  • For people left within prisons, COVID-19 can be contained without the dangerous use of solitary confinement through universal testing, the safe separation of positive and non-positive residents and staff, and high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) for all people living and working in these facilities.

  • Quarantine and medical isolation in prisons must not resemble punitive solitary confinement, which is an internationally recognized form of torture.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons in which most DC residents are incarcerated have set on a course of total lockdown. Contact your Senators today to urge them to make clear to Attorney General Barr that the federal Bureau of Prisons "total lockdown" in response to public protest was immoral and that it must never happen again.