One of the populations most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 was hit early in the pandemic, and hit hard: the incarcerated. According to the Virginia Department of Corrections, over 3,800 prisoners in the Commonwealth have contracted the virus while incarcerated. That’s about 15% of the DOC’s total population of over 26,000 inmates. But cases aren’t distributed evenly among facilities – 10 of the department’s correctional facilities have had outbreaks of 100 to more than 800 cases. Freelance journalist Randi B. Hagi spoke with state corrections and health officials, as well as two people who are currently incarcerated, to get a sense of how COVID-19 has affected prisons and prisoners around the state.
This episode was hosted and produced by Randi B. Hagi. Randi is a freelance journalist based outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. She is a regular contributor to the area NPR affiliate, WMRA News, and her writing has been featured in The Citizen, where she’s the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and EMU’s Crossroads magazine. She also raises muscovy ducks, chickens, and Katahdin sheep.
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