Prisons in a pandemic are nothing to sneeze at

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While there might not be any wacky questions – there are certainly wacky answers, and anyone who thought prison building was the way to curb COVID-19 must be given a gold-plated donkey cap. In other words, Alabama is back.

Cotton state lawmakers are trying to divert some $ 400 million in US bailout funds to building three new prisons that could hold around 4,000 inmates. Not everyone is happy with it.

“Shay Farley of the SPLC Action Fund pointed out that small businesses and healthcare facilities in Alabama continue to face urgent funding needs due to the pandemic. “That means $ 400 million less to help small businesses, fund overburdened rural health facilities, provide schools with much-needed personal protective equipment, and more.”

I think Farley is right, especially since Alabama currently has the highest COVID death rate in the country. It’s one of those moments that really brings home the idea that racism is its own pandemic – how else would you explain a state relying on the 13th amendment rather than tackling the coughs and sneezes that kill grandma and grandpa?

Continue to wear masks and try to avoid committing state or federal crimes, as it’s really hard to socially distance yourself in a jail cell.

Alabama wants to use $ 400 million in COVID relief money to build more prisons [Vanity Fair]
Does an exception clause in the 13th Amendment still allow slavery? [History]
CDC Director Says Racism “Serious Public Health Threat” [NPR]
Alabama leads US in COVID-19 death rate in past 2 weeks [U.S. News]


Chris Williams became social media manager and associate editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a Memelord ™ miner in the Facebook group Law School Memes for T14 Edgy. Prior to that, he wrote columns for an online magazine named The Muse Collaborative under the pseudonym Knehmo. He endured the great state of Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University to St. Louis Law School. He’s a former boatbuilder who can’t swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy and humor, and has a love for cycling that sometimes annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at [email protected]


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