Below are open letters and articles about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on incarcerated people and their communities. Click on the article title to follow the link. Beneath the article listings is a list of relevant news sources and advocacy organizations for tracking the pandemic and its impact on incarcerated people in Washington.
Articles & Letters to Washington Officials
+ Civil rights & legal advocacy groups joint letters to the WA Department of Corrections and to Governor Jay Inslee (March 16, 2020)
+ COVID19 Mutual Aid Seattle, “An Open Letter to Governor Jay Inslee,” March 2020.
+ Christopher Blackwell, “COVID-19 Prison Dilemma: Is Security More Important than Public Health?” The Crime Report, April 10, 2020; and “You’ve Got Masks, Stop Complaining,” The Crime Report, April 21, 2020.
+ Christopher Blackwell and Arthur Longworth, “Here’s what happened to two prisoners when a guard got the coronavirus.” Buzzfeed News, March 18, 2020.
+ Dan Berger, Ryan Fatica, and Duncan Tarr, “As the coronavirus spreads, prisoners are rising up for their health.” The Appeal, April 27, 2020.
+ Dan Berger, “In a pandemic, prisons are a problem” UW Center for Human Rights, March 25, 2020.
+ Jessica Schulberg, “‘Help, We Don’t Wanna Die’: Inside the First Prison to Protest the Lack of COVID19 Protections,” Huffington Post, April 14, 2020.
+ Katherine Beckett and Anjum Hajat, “With Coronavirus, Prisons and Jails Could Become a Death Sentence,” Seattle Times, March 31, 2020.
+ Prison Policy Initiative, “The public health case for criminal justice Reform“
+ Tomas Keen, “In prison, ‘protective quarantine’ is just another word for lockdown.” The Crime Report, March 20, 2020; “Can COVID-19 Force Us to Take Criminal Justice Reform Seriously?,” The Crime Report, March 26, 2020; and “Stopping Coronavirus Spread Inside Prisons: ‘A Simple Fix,'” The Crime Report, April 1, 2020.
Organizational resources on public health & decarceration in Washington (a partial list):
COVID19 Mutual Aid-Seattle (and on Instagram here)
Columbia Legal Services
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
National resources on public health & decarceration:
Covid19 Behind Bars map
Covid19 Behind Bars Data Project (UCLA)
Prison Health News
Prison Policy Initiative
Release Aging People in Prison