Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Prisons: A Petri Dish for COVID-19

June 30, 2020 Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Prisons: A Petri Dish for COVID-19
Chapters
Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Prisons: A Petri Dish for COVID-19
Jun 30, 2020
Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

More than 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated in the United States, over 20% of the world’s 10.35 million imprisoned people. As of mid-June, at least 46,249 people in United States prisons tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 548 incarcerated people died from the virus. Five of the U.S.’s top 10 hot spots are prisons or jails, including Chicago’s very own Cook County Jail. What can we understand about pandemics and public health in prisons from the country with the world’s largest prison population? 

Northwestern philosophy professor and director of the Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP) Jennifer Lackey and Executive Director of the Uptown People’s Law Center Alan Mills will discuss how prison conditions and a history of mass incarceration have led to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated men and women in the U.S. They will address the causes and consequences of this deadly combination, share comparative data from other countries, and suggest paths for mitigating the effects of future global pandemics on prison populations. They will be joined by NPEP student Antonio McDowell, who will share his firsthand account of living through COVID-19 at Stateville Correctional Center, one of the nation’s earliest hotspots.   

This is part of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ Confronting COVID-19: Global Implications and Futures webinar series.



Show Notes

More than 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated in the United States, over 20% of the world’s 10.35 million imprisoned people. As of mid-June, at least 46,249 people in United States prisons tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 548 incarcerated people died from the virus. Five of the U.S.’s top 10 hot spots are prisons or jails, including Chicago’s very own Cook County Jail. What can we understand about pandemics and public health in prisons from the country with the world’s largest prison population? 

Northwestern philosophy professor and director of the Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP) Jennifer Lackey and Executive Director of the Uptown People’s Law Center Alan Mills will discuss how prison conditions and a history of mass incarceration have led to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated men and women in the U.S. They will address the causes and consequences of this deadly combination, share comparative data from other countries, and suggest paths for mitigating the effects of future global pandemics on prison populations. They will be joined by NPEP student Antonio McDowell, who will share his firsthand account of living through COVID-19 at Stateville Correctional Center, one of the nation’s earliest hotspots.   

This is part of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ Confronting COVID-19: Global Implications and Futures webinar series.