So far, scientists have been unable to come up with a cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus. There are only two ways to stay safe:
- Practicing social distancing
- Practicing good hygiene
Unfortunately, both of these are nearly impossible if one is detained behind bars. Does this mean that mass incarceration makes it harder for us to tackle the contagion?
Let’s read on to find out:
America’s incarceration problem
The US is home to just 5% of the world’s population. At the same time, it holds around 25% of the world’s prison population! In fact, since the 1970s, the total incarcerated population in the US has grown to 2.3 million. In terms of percentage increases, this is equal to 700%. In one way or the other, prison growth has outgrown the total population growth.
A report found that a huge chunk of the US’s prison population now comprises women. Furthermore, the number of defendants awaiting trial in local jails is now twice as large as those held by the federal prison system at large. That’s not all either: the impact of mass incarceration can also be felt by those who are not directly affected by it. We’re talking about the taxpayers. Every year, taxpayers have to pay a cumulative $80 billion for the prison system. This is a terrible waste of resources. Instead of spending money on incarceration, the same could be spent on investment that actually affects the community positively.
Mass incarceration and Coronavirus
According to a recent report by The Guardian, America is addicted to the notion of mass incarceration. In light of the Coronavirus, the issue is so serious that it could almost double the total number of deaths at its hands.
In fact, given the current state of jails, they could add another 100,000 fatalities to the death count. It is further projected that out of these 100,000, around 23,000 are expected to succumb to the virus behind jail walls.
The remaining 76,000 cases could surface in the nearby communities as a result of inmates traveling there after release. You’d be surprised to know that in just a single country jail in Chicago, around 400 inmates have tested positive already!
What’s the way forward?
America’s number one concern right now should be to release all those who are awaiting trial. According to the same source, only 5% of total detainees in the US are accused of violent crimes. A huge majority is either held on account of infractions or misdemeanors.
Jails in the US are so overcrowded that its nearly impossible to get inmates to practice social distancing. Other than that, the state of sanitation isn’t as great as it should be.
As a defendant, you could reduce your risk of being in such a high-risk zone by opting for bail bonds. Bail bonds help you get out of jail on easier, faster, and more affordable terms.
If you’re based in Indiana, look no further than DeLaughter Bail Bonds. We are up and serving throughout Indiana 24 hours a day!