Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Don’t Go Back — Washington Jails Should Permanently Adopt Practices That Led to Reductions in Populations Due to COVID-19

October 2020 Bar Bulletin

By Jaime Hawk

Our nation is struggling to address racial injustice and the public health emergency of COVID-19. Black and brown communities are disproportionately incarcerated in our jails and prisons and are also most at risk of getting sick and dying from the spread of COVID-19. Black people were 5% of state residents, but 11% of people in jail in Washington in 2015.

Decarceration and the reimagining of the criminal legal system must continue. We cannot go back to business as usual and pre-COVID levels of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and overcrowded jails.

The...

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