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COVID-19 Threat Persists In Jails And Prisons, Stalls Court Proceedings

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Jessup Correctional Institution

COVID-19 ripped through Maryland’s prisons and jails during the past year--more than 4-thousand inmates were infected; 26 died. And the danger continues.

Ryan King of the Justice Policy Institute calls for proactive testing and ramped-up vaccination. And he highlights the issue of vaccine hesitancy among those behind bars.

Read the op-ed coauthored by King and Hopkins epidemiologist Dr. Chris Beyrer here.

Then, Baltimore City public defender Todd Oppenheim describes how the pandemic delayed trials and bail hearings, leaving his clients to languish in detention.

Oppenheim's recent opinion pieces:
I'm a public defender. My elderly client might die in prison from COVID-19
Amid a pandemic, defendants are languishing in jail for lack of home detention funding
What It’s Like to Be a Public Defender Right Now

Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'
Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.