How the Pandemic Changed My Time in Prison
An Inmate Reflects on Nearly Three Years of Shifting Health Protocols and Halted Rehabilitation Efforts
Intense debates about the role of government interventions in public health became the norm during the pandemic. When do the benefits of prevention and containment policies aimed at stopping COVID’s spread outweigh the costs to individual rights?
I watched these debates from behind prison walls, where the rights of inmates are secondary to safety concerns. Here inside Ironwood State Prison, like every other correctional facility in California, prisoners are afforded a narrow range of “rights,” which are mostly privileges that can be suspended to preserve institutional security.
This principle meant that beginning …