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What happens when more than 300,000 prisoners are locked down?

The Marshall Project, April 15, 2020

April 15, 2020

What happens when more than 300,000 prisoners are locked down?

Keramet Reiter, a criminology professor at University of California, Irvine, said there are already enough infections that some facilities should focus on even more basic questions: “Can we make sure they have phone calls? And food?” Repeated lockdowns in the 1960s and 1970s ultimately helped lead to the rise of supermaxes and solitary confinement units, Reiter said. She’s worried today’s lockdowns will make solitary confinement seem acceptable again. “This could be a moment,” she said, “where we could very quickly reinstitutionalize it.”