State prison COVID plan questioned as facilities become hotspots

Written by on December 29, 2020

 State prison COVID plan questioned as facilities become hotspots

By Tyler Pratt

December 29, 2020

FILE – This June 1, 2018, file photo, shows a housing unit in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa. The first phase of transferring more than 2,500 inmates from the 89-year-old state prison at Graterford to the long-delayed $400 million SCI Phoenix prison began Wednesday, July 11, 2018, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, which plans to bus hundreds of inmates a day to the new prison facility about a mile down the road until all are relocated. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

One in five prisoners in the U.S. has had COVID-19. That’s according to The Marshall Project and that rate is four times as high as the general population. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Corrections has recently taken new steps to combat the virus behind bars. 

Prisoners are also high state priority for the coronavirus vaccines, but the timeline for distribution is not yet clear. 

To unpack some of the issues surrounding COVID and corrections in the commonwealth, WLVR’s Tyler Pratt recently spoke with Joseph Darius Jaafari,  a journalist who covers prisons for Spotlight PA, about a new program the Correction Department has rolled out to deal with COVID.

Listen to the story.

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