#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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James Mason - A Message from Inside

Sep 21, 2020 | by Karen Smith

Mr. Mason describes current conditions from inside and discusses what’s needed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails.

Audio Submission by, James Mason
Amended Transcription of Audio:

[The prison], is getting some kind of Federal incentive during this COVID era. And not only that, it’s less work! So they’re getting paid more to do less because they’re keeping us locked down — know what I’m sayin’? — in the same dorm, barely getting rec, barely getting canteen, but what’s making a pro for them is they don’t have to escort us to the Chow Hall [now] with them bringing us our trays. So, without us getting the recreation outside, [since] recreation and things have ended, that’s less work for them. All they’ve gotta’ do is bring us our trays and count — three, four, five times a day.

And it’s just getting frustrating for us because we’re not getting the hand sanitizer…things that can keep the anxiety down if a person sneezes around me. And we’re already overcrowded, but it’s impossible to social distance when somebody might sneeze, cough, or even fart around you! You feel me? Me and the Tool Man’s cell, that thing’s like six-by-nine inches and they’re talking about social distancing. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s contrary — it contradicts what the Medical, what the CDC, what they recommend. So, I believe instead of letting the officers run the prison compound, I believe it needs to be a medical-based camp during this quarantine.

That’s all I got to say for right now.

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