COVID-19 Prison Dilemma: Is Security More Important Than Health?

The national health crisis has put prisoners and correctional officers equally at risk. That offers a rare opportunity to work together for everyone’s safety—even if it means rethinking traditional  security concerns, writes a Washington state inmate.

prison wire

Public Health, Justice and COVID-19: A Tragedy Foretold

The pandemic is teaching us crucial lessons about the poverty of our criminal justice discourse — about our fixation on treating criminal offenders as if they are pathogens. We ignore those lessons at our peril, warns TCR’s legal columnist.


How to Ensure Safe, Effective Release and Reentry in the Time of Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has injected a new meaning into the phrase “public safety.” It  requires not just the release of incarcerated individuals, but ensuring their release doesn’t further endanger their health and the health of the communities to which they return, writes a Washington, D.C,-based  attorney who specializes in sentencing and reentry issues.

juvenile justice

Learning the Lessons of Past Disasters: Don’t Leave Young People Behind

Following Hurricane Katrina, authorities failed to evacuate at-risk youths in the juvenile justice system, leaving them cut off from their families and without food or water. Unless governors and other state officials act quickly, the current pandemic will cause an even graver catastrophe, warns the president of Youth First Initiative.


After the COVID-19 Release of Prisoners, Who Will Help Them?

Many of the individuals released from prison or jail to prevent the spread of coronavirus could end up in crowded shelters or similar places, where they will be just as vulnerable as they were inside, warns a former inmate. He calls on authorities to provide adequate resources to community organizations that can provide them with counseling and support.