10 solutions to covid crisis in prisons from inside

the people closest to the problem often know the best solutions

By Karim Diggs
By Karim Diggs

Karim Diggs has spent the last 45 years in prison in Pennsylvania. He is an acclaimed legal prison scholar who has helped many prisoners find freedom in case appeals. He is a contributor to The Des. This is part one of Karim’s dispatch from inside. Next week we go over his proposed solutions for the incarcerated during the pandemic.

Solutions to the Pandemic deaths from Covid-19

1. Release men and women to Life on parole. Those women and men who are elderly, sick and those who have served over 30 years in prison. If one has served 30 years in prison without any violent actions in the last 10 years that prisoner should be considered for parole now.

2. Those who are seriously ill should be paroled or commuted now or even pardoned quickly.

3. Early parole for those who have been sentenced to regular sentences and allow people to serve half their sentence and be paroled.

4. Confine parole violators to house arrest.

5. Reduce Prison population to one person per cell.

6. Allow families to adopt prisoners and take full responsibility for that person.

7. Cease sentencing citizens to prison and provide community security to handle these crimes without the punitive aspects of inhumane confinements.

 8. Pandemic has caused some of us to think outside the box. There should be allowed in every state prison, the use of public lands on prison property to be converted into vegetable growing and flower gardens. The land is sitting useless. It takes no great investments to develop land to grow food and flowers. This would put many men and women to work, and it would have a healing and a holistic atmosphere to be born in this pandemic.

8. It is time to abandon the old traditional slave systems that has proven to demoralize the citizens of this republic. The disruption that was created under the Trump era is an example and a warning it is time that the system we live is repaired and changed. This revolution includes the America prison industrial complex.

9. Finally, make it a state mandate to stop rejecting the desires of prisoners, and include the prison community as part of the genera community of Pennsylvania citizens.

10. Allowing Pennsylvania Prisoners to vote in local and state election and presidential elections. This may be the only way we can get the law makers and politicians to ever recognize us as citizens and part of their constituents.

Until we are seen as a part of the people, our desires, issues, needs will never be part of the decisions that are made about prisons and prisoners. Every law passed will reflect punishment, punitive fines and costs and anything that will please the victims lust for more and more suffering inflicted against persons convicted of a crime. This must stop.

Read more of Karim’s writing here and read part one on the agony of facing covid inside from last week here.


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