#CagingCOVID: Stopping the Spread Behind Bars

While the world is trying to flatten the curve of a pandemic without end in sight, U.S. prisons and detention centers continue to be COVID-19 hotspots, warehousing millions and failing to make the substantial populations reductions needed to create conditions of social distance.

#CagingCOVID is a campaign to shine a light on mass incarceration in a time of a public health crisis, and apply pressure to use parole, clemency and decarceration at local and federal levels to stop the spread of the virus behind bars.

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COVID-Positive Inmates Stacked Like Sardines In A Dormitory

Jan 28, 2021 | by Laura Bratton

Anne is a mother from Florida who worries about her 25-year-old son, who contracted the coronavirus in prison. She talks about the conditions he and other people inside endured during their quarantine period.

Submission by, Anne

Amended Transcription of Audio:

My son was arrested at age 14 in the worst county in the worst state in our nation for sentencing children as adults. He was 14 at the time he was arrested, and he is now 25.

He did get Covid in prison, and he was moved with his roommate to a dorm of about 60 men, all with covid, all testing positive. He said that you could touch men either way when you stretch your arms out. They were not six feet apart. Literally, bodies just packed in like sardines into a dormitory.

He said that there were several that were very, very sick and he tried to tend to them as well as he could. He was only sick for about three days, but there were several that he would tell me were curled up in the fetal position for several days. There were times they could not get Tylenol or ibuprofen or any kind of relief.

And the meals were very unpredictable. Sometimes the meals would arrive five to six hours late. Sometimes it would just be two sandwiches, two apples. That was very typical for days on end.

He did not go outside for three months. The fact that my son did not see the sunshine for over three months horrifies me to no end because of the impact and the change it must have on the brain.

He managed to keep his spirits up. I don’t know how. I think it was because his mission was to take care of those that were sicker than he was and to get through it. I mean, it’s survival. Prison is all about survival. Covid has taken this survival to a new level that no one could have possibly imagined.

I have not seen my son and about 10 months. There are many families that have not seen their loved ones in over a year now. It’s just, it’s a horrific thing that we are all living with.

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