Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Anjum Hajat co-authors with Katherine Beckett an Opinion for Seattle Times on COVID-19 Implications for Incarcerated Persons

Posted: 4/5/2020 (CSDE in the News)

In a recent published in The Seattle Times, Katherine Beckett from the UW’s Department of Law, Societies, and Justice (LSJ)  and CSDE Affiliate Anjum Hajat detail how a COVID-19 outbreak in prisons and jails could be a death sentence for those incarcerated—especially due to the expanding population of incarcerated elderly individuals and a severe lack of adequate health care in prisons. Additionally, a limited capacity for social distancing and a lack of access to cleaning materials including soap are each compounding factors that make the prison population severely vulnerable to the illness. Therefore, Beckett and Hajat urge leaders to immediately adopt “prevention efforts… to avoid needless deaths…in addition, immediate steps should be taken to release the most medically vulnerable people.”

Beckett and Hajat conclude, “Gov. Inslee has the authority to take these steps in an emergency…COVID-19 is, undoubtedly, such an emergency…the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable community members depends on our willingness to act now.”

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