How prison populations can be protected from Covid-19

Prisoners walk out of Agra district jail Sunday
Prisoners walk from Agra district jail Sunday | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

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This past March, the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio has been estimated to be at 153percent of its official capacity. 1 month later, roughly 80% of the American prison’s population — over 2,000 inmates — tested positive to get COVID-19.

The pandemic has amplified the hazards of cramped conditions in prisons around the world, and increased objections to exposing large, concentrated groups of people to the virus.

One response to this health threat has been to release prisoners — some into house detention, while some others deemed low risk, or with minimal time remaining on their sentences, are fully liberated.

Greater than 61,000 prisoners in India have been published, including nearly 3,600 from the National Capital Territory of Delhi, based on one estimate. In Iran, of the tens of thousands of prisoners released temporarily in March as a crisis measure, many obtained total pardons. Along with also a report published last week implied that nearly 130,000 offenders had been release in European countries.

Prisoner releases have awakened disagreement between people who see them as a”smack in the face” to victims of the crimes, and people who say still-overcrowded facilities have to be emptied more quickly for humanitarian reasons.

Many prison populations are comparatively old and afflicted with the type of underlying health conditions which make people especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Back in California, one analysis discovered that almost 18,000 individuals from the country’s prisons have been 55 or older.

However, prisoner releases in California and elsewhere have contributed to lawful clashes and asserts  that dangerous criminals are being unleashed on the public. Concerns also have been increased  about abruptly pushing thousands of ill-equipped individuals into troubled labor markets, frequently without adequate housing.

Turkey has undertaken one of the most dramatic release efforts, reducing its prison population by approximately a third from the process. Legislators in the nation passed a law this past April permitting for the release of about 100,000 inmates, though Amnesty International has argued that thousands still remain behind bars following unfair trials and convictions under overly broad anti-terrorism laws.

In Ohio, home to the Marion Correctional Institution, countless  of prisoners are released — although critics say it’s not been enough. As that the US and other nations face a surge at coronavirus cases, their prisons stay home to some of the most vulnerable inhabitants.

John Letzing, Digital Editor, Strategic Intelligence, World Economic Forum

This article was initially published in the World Economic Forum.


Additionally read: ‘350 offenders in 6 chambers, just 3 toilets’: Letter describes Gautam Navlakha’s jail in Raigad


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