Can California Prevent a Coronavirus Outbreak in Prisons?

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A California Department of Corrections officer looks on as inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As California officials scramble to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, advocates are questioning whether enough is being done to protect thousands of people incarcerated in state prisons. So far, one inmate and nine correctional staff have tested positive for the virus. State prisons are already overcrowded with prisoners sharing close quarters. Some inmates tend not to speak up when they are sick for fear of being sent to solitary confinement. We talk with the former head of the state's prison system about why he calls it a "tinderbox of potential infection."


Marisa Lagos, politics correspondent, KQED

Scott Kernan, former secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation