In California’s prison factories, inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread

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In California’s prison factories, inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread

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This article highlights the changes that have been made inside US correctional facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. While visitation, religious services, rehab and educational programs, phone usage, and even showers have been cut down or completely eliminated, prison labor continues. Incarcerated people are also not able to refuse to work. Doing so can result in loosing privileges time added onto a sentence, or loss of parole or release.
In this particular article when the prison was confronted with the worry over the virus being spread through work they defended their position saying they only continued work in places that produced items necessary to fight the pandemic such as soap, hand sanitizer, and masks.
While much of the spread of Covid-19 in correctional facilities has been linked to the transfer of inmates this article highlights another avenue for spread, the movement of materials to make things such as masks. The women in one prison were making masks using fabric produced by the men's prison next door. The driver that delivered the fabric from the men's prison was not wearing a mask or taking other precautions.
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This item was submitted on October 14, 2020 by Chris Twing using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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