The Atlantic: Can't We at Least Give Prisoners Soap?
Date:  04-15-2020

Hand sanitizers are contraband in prison, so why isn't free soap being distributed?
From The Atlantic:

Thaddeus Betz is one of many attorneys who fear that the coronavirus is going to kill one of their clients as it spreads in densely populated jails and correctional institutions. Last week, Betz filed a motion on behalf of Benjamin John Finnestad, a registered sex offender cancer survivor in his mid-40s who is awaiting trial after being accused of trying to lure underage girls online. Would a federal judge release Finnestad into house arrest with an ankle bracelet during this pandemic?

I read the motion over the weekend in an ongoing effort to understand what arguments are being made on behalf of incarcerated Americans during this extraordinary public-health emergency, and to comprehend the sorts of factors that judges and prosecutors must weigh as they render decisions.

“Inmates cycle in and out of Bureau of Prison pretrial facilities and local jails from all over the world and the country, and people who work in the facilities leave and return daily, without screening,” the motion states. “There are no institutional precautions or rules about gathering in groups of people. Meals are, at times, served communally where inmates are seated next to one-another.” That’s more or less what I expected, knowing that the incarcerated are at special risk of contracting an infectious disease, in part because they cannot engage in the social distancing urged by public-health authorities. Continue reading >>>