One in five U.S. prisoners has been contracted by COVID-19, more than 1,700 have died

As the ever-increasing spread of coronavirus infection across the U.S. brings with it a wave of death, it is attacking a section of the population that has been particularly forgotten: prisoners in state and federal prisons. The Marshall Project has been monitoring resident issues and deaths since mid-March.

Bars inside a prison [Credit: Robert Crow/vividcorvid – Fotolia]

The nonprofit news agency, in coordination with the Associated Press, reports that at least 276,107 people in prison had tested positive for the illness, a 10 percent increase over the previous week , much higher than the previous peak in early August. Given that testing for the virus is limited, and not all cases have been reported, there is no doubt that this number is much higher.

The following number of new cases were reported last week:

  • California: nearly 6,000
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons: more than 3,000
  • Michigan and Pennsylvania: more than 2,000 each
  • Arizona and Nevada: more than 1,000 each

These staggering figures show that the elite’s policy of “herd protection” is even more intense within the prison walls, where prisoners are closely confined and social distance is almost negligible. -made. Like workers deployed in cars, meat processing and other factories, the lives of prisoners are seen as a cost. In addition, prisoners are viewed as a drain on the resources of the capitalist state, which receive limited monetary value from their incarceration.

There have been 33,410 federal prison cases, more than one state prison system, and 175 deaths, the second only to Florida, which saw 189. The number of federal cases was spurred by the Trump administration’s effort to reduce enforce as many federal prisoners as possible. before Joe Biden is sworn in as president on Jan. 20. Biden has said he will move to end his federal execution.

The Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General William Barr, is on track to execute 10 executives on Trump’s way out of office, more than has happened over the past three decades. Barr, who headed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) last year to reinstate capital penalties for federal prisoners after what was a necessary moratorium on federal execution, will leave his post before Christmas, washing up his hands of the last three deaths recorded in January.

One of those prisoners is Dustin John Higgs, 48, who is expected to be executed on Jan. 15 in connection with the abduction and killing of three women in Maryland in 1996. The BOP contacted Higgs’ lawyers Thursday that their client had been positive for the coronavirus. The news comes amid prisoner concerns about an explosive number of cases of the virus at the facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, where the same federal death toll resides.

Dustin John Higgs, under COVID contract 17 December [Source:]

After the November 19 execution of federal prisoner Orlando Hall, 49, it was reported that eight prison staff who had taken part in the execution at the Terre Haute facility had contracted COVID-19 . Despite this, five of those employees were expected to be working at the time of the execution of Brendon Bernard, 40, on Dec. 12, and Alfred Bourgeois, 55, the next day.