The barriers faced by Kilroy Watkins to finding housing after his release from prison were formidable. But as advocates across the country pursue early release for non-violent inmates during COVID-19, the challenge of finding transitional housing in a world afflicted by the pandemic has exacerbated the already difficult barriers to successful reentry.
After months of warning that authorities at his Washington State prison were unprepared for the pandemic, lifer Tomas Keen contracted the disease―and discovered that he had underestimated the potential for disaster.
Steven Brandenburg, 46, who was accused of intentionally trying to spoil hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine doses last month was charged with attempted criminal damage to property in Ozaukee County Circuit Court in Wisconsin. According to the charge, he deliberately removed vials from the refrigerator in two separate incidents on Dec. 24 and 25.
Rebekah Jones, the founder of Florida’s coronavirus database, was fired by the Florida department of health in May for insubordination after claiming she was ordered to censor and manipulate information on the database she founded and managed, She says the governor “will not win his war on science and free speech.”
Until COVID-19 is less prevalent behind bars, the pandemic won’t truly be over in the U.S., no matter how widely vaccines are distributed. So far, 329,000 inmates have been infected and 2,020 have died.
A bill set to be discussed in the New York State Assembly’s Health Committee on Wednesday could give the state government the power to remove and detain individuals considered to be a severe threat to public health and safety. It’s already sparked a debate about infringement of constitutionally protected freedoms.