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NEWS

Short Update: US jails and prisons see rapid spread of COVID-19 despite early warnings

Most states in the United States are entering the re-opening phase, despite the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the country.  

Jails throughout California are still grappling with new cases of COVID-19, or haven’t conducted widespread testing to know whether people in their custody are infected. Asymptomatic infections continue to be a significant problem for detention facilities, which until recently had been testing and quarantining prisoners based on symptoms. 

Last week, the California Judicial Council voted to end an emergency order that allowed people jailed on misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to be released on $0 bail. The order was issued on 20th March to address the threat COVID-19 posed to jails, where crowded living conditions make social distancing difficult, if not impossible.  Advocates for incarcerated people say they asked the Judicial Council to keep $0 bail in place. 

Read the story here 

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