Social distancing is already isolating enough, especially if you live alone. But imagine not even being able to access the internet or a phone to check up on loved ones or have the ability to look — let alone walk — outside. That’s now the case for federal inmates who must spend the next 14 days in their cells.
When it comes to coronavirus, incarcerated people are especially vulnerable. As illustrated by COVID-19 Behind Bars, an independent journalism project launched by Adryan Corcione, it’s hard to find a state without at least one jail facility impacted by the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced its solution in a press release: All inmates will be kept in their cells. Yes, everyone. Under the policy, which takes effect Wednesday, the BOP said that incarcerated people should still have access to regular programs and services, such as mental health treatment and education, “to the extent practicable.” The BOP’s said its response follows a “growing number of quarantine and isolation cases in our facilities.”