Coronavirus Continues Spreading in California Prisons

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Faith leaders and activists hold signs and tombstone shapes as they hold a public memorial in front of the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse to honor victims of COVID-19 that have died while incarcerated on May 12, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The California state prison system now counts 15 inmates who have died of coronavirus-related causes as of Friday. Overall, more than 2,440 inmates in state prisons have tested positive for the virus, despite efforts to test prison staff and release inmates early. Those figures do not count local and federal prison populations in the state, which have also experienced coronavirus outbreaks. Meanwhile, some inmates have reported lack of access to safety equipment and healthcare. We discuss how coronavirus has spread in California prisons and how measures to prevent the illness are falling short.


Sam Levin, reporter, Guardian US; former staff writer, East Bay Express

Eileen Guo, investigative journalist covering inequality, injustice, and unintended consequences