Struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic in state’s prison system

Illustration by Mariano Santillan / Carolina Public Press

 COVID-19 has sickened at least 6,000 people behind bars in NC, including 25 who died. More than 1,500 staff have gotten the disease, and 300 are currently ill and out of work, while four have died. The prisons’ slow response, lack of transparency and history of outbreaks has led the courts to cite them for noncompliance with orders. While a vaccine offers a glimmer of hope, it didn’t have to happen this way. Health experts, including state agencies, urged preventative steps that weren’t taken or were only taken after months of delay in North Carolina, even as other states did respond, resulting in better outcomes. So, where do we go from here?

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Resources on COVID-19 and NC prisons


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