Pennsylvania’s prisons and jails have been ravaged by COVID-19. Incarcerated people, and the staff who supervise them, were among the first to suffer in the pandemic. They should also be among the first to be vaccinated, not only for their benefit but to protect the broader community.
For example, over half of the people incarcerated at State Correctional Institute Laurel Highlands have recently tested positive for COVID-19. This is especially frightening because this facility functions as a correctional nursing home for the sickest and oldest incarcerated people. Correctional staff has also been hit hard, creating an environment that is universally stressful and potentially dangerous. Other prisons have been similarly impacted, with an increasing amount of staff and incarcerated people testing positive.
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