The added dangers that prison inmates face during the COVID-19 pandemic are on the mind of rapper E-40 who took to Instagram on April 20 to address prison conditions around the nation. Rapper/actor T.I. then re-posted and thanked E-40 for his message.
“#Covid19 is lingering in the prisons. Inmates did not bring the covid19 on themselves, it’s being brought in by others coming in, NOT from visitors because visitation had been shut down,” wrote E-40 on Instagram on Monday, April 20.
“INMATES need to be protected with masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves, and antibody tests, and the prisons should protect and provide necessities for the inmates,” he added.
T.I. re-posted E-40’s message to his Instagram page on Tuesday, April 21 and at the bottom wrote, “THIS S–T IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR ANY HUMAN BEING, Let alone OUR PEOPLE‼️ Salute to da legend @e40 for putting this information out there.”
The infection of prison inmates and prison staff have made for headlines in a number of reports.
For example, 1,828 inmates at Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio, according to an April 20 National Public Radio report, tested positive for the virus, which equals 73 percent of its inmates. Some 109 staff members tested positive as well.
At Neuse Correctional Institution, located in Goldsboro, N.C., recent numbers show that 60 percent of the inmates there have been infected with COVID-19.
In recent weeks, states such as Ohio, California, Colorado, New York and New Jersey have been releasing specific inmates to help slow the virus’ spread inside prisons.
Last month, Jay-Z and Meek Mill sent thousands of face masks to prison inmates in Rikers Island in New York, Mississippi State Penitentiary, Tennessee Department of Corrections institutions and South Carolina prisons. The masks came through the pair’s criminal justice reform organization The Reform Alliance.
“COVID-19 spreads most quickly in crowded and closed environments, and our jails and prisons are at high risk for an outbreak,” said The Reform Alliance in a statement. “This is a huge threat to public health.”
The statement continued, “Right now, hardly any government officials have a plan to address this crisis, reform does. We have worked with experts and advocates from across the political aisle to develop a set of common-sense recommendations that would make us all SAFER.”