Podcast: Prisoners trapped in the path of COVID-19

Punished for wearing masks, or for asking to have their temperatures taken, our aging prison population is denied basic social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning supplies they need to defend themselves against covid-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo has not responded to letters from advocates for the inmates, and he claims, falsely, that he lacks the authority to fix the issues.

Journalist Rosa Goldensohn, of The City, reports on inmates still forced to congregate, or to sleep in beds sixteen inches apart. Stefen Short, a staff attorney for the Prisoners’ Rights Project at the Legal Aid Society, fights for the safety of those trapped in prison on technicalities, or for whom covid-19 constitutes a death sentence. On this week’s Kicker, Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, speaks with Goldensohn and Short on the importance of reporting beyond Cuomo’s daily briefings to tell the stories of individual inmates and the fight for their basic rights.


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Amanda Darrach is a contributor to CJR and a visiting scholar at the University of St Andrews School of International Relations. Follow her on Twitter @thedarrach.