Opinion: With COVID surges, there’s no return to normalcy in jails and prisons

COVID-19 has been surging across California’s prison and jails this summer. But as cases behind bars increase, vaccination rates remain incredibly low with few signs of improvement. Meanwhile, at several jails, populations are also on the rise, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Because of high infection rates, incarcerated people are subject to continuous quarantines and isolation. Visitation and programming remain halted or sparse in many facilities. Clearly, the pandemic behind bars is not over, as examples in San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara counties show.

But unlike the general population, where a sense of normalcy is returning, it is unclear what the future holds for carceral facilities, especially because complacency

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