Monday, August 3, 2020

100,000 Criminals Released Under Coronavirus Jailbreak Despite Lower Fatality Rate In Prison

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Some localities are now threatening jail time for people who do not wear masks under the unproven science of stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The contorted irony is that this same virus is being used as a pretext to release criminals from jails and prisons to stop an epidemic in confined areas. Well, it turns out there is a lower death rate from COVID-19 in jails than in the general population. Consequently, the coronavirus bloodbath in jails and prisons has not materialized, but the spike in crime from prisoners’ release certainly has.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, my friend Sean Kennedy, a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute, revealed a shocking fact. The assumption until now has been that prisons are breeding grounds to pass around intense concentrations of the virus, therefore resulting in more deaths. That turned out not to be true.
“In fact, there has been no wave of mass deaths among prisoners,” wrote Kennedy. “By mid-July, there were approximately 700 recorded deaths due to coronavirus among the 2.2 million prison and jail inmates in the U.S. That’s a mortality rate of roughly 32 deaths per 100,000 prisoners. In the nation as a whole, there were approximately 140,000 Covid-19 fatalities by mid-July. That’s a mortality rate of 42 per 100,000, including inmates. And prisoners who do contract the disease are dying at significantly lower rates (1% mortality) than the overall population (3.8%).”
The ACLU has warned that “detention centers would be petri dishes for the spread of COVID-19 — and a death trap for thousands of people in civil detention.” But in reality, they indeed were good petri dishes to study what would happen if the virus actually spread to a fully confined population. And it turns out it’s not the death trap the ACLU envisioned – not any worse than it is in the general population. Yes, the virus spreads far and wide in confined spaces, but as we’ve seen from the natural epidemiological case study of prisons, most people are asymptomatic and very few required hospitalizations.
It’s also important to note that prisons and jails are disproportionately filled with black inmates. Putting aside the criminal justice debate over how much this reflects crime rates, from an epidemiological standpoint, one would expect prisons to have a much higher death rate, if the virus is really as ubiquitously deadly as so many in the media are claiming. According to the CDC, black people are five times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than white people.
Read the rest from Daniel Horowitz HERE.

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