San Quentin State Prison in California has become the site of the largest coronavirus outbreak in the country, overtaking the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio. Twenty-two San Quentin prisoners have died from COVID-19. Over 2,200 prisoners and 260 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. This comes as advocates continue to pressure California Governor Gavin Newsom to grant mass release to halt the further spread of the virus inside prisons. Democracy Now! spoke to incarcerated journalist Juan Haines — who is himself recovering from COVID-19 — earlier this week about conditions inside San Quentin.
Juan Haines: “The architectural design of California prisons are not fit for human occupation. It’s just not. That’s why so many people in San Quentin are dying, because we can’t physically distance ourselves from each other. And what’s so hurtful about this fact that we can’t physically distance from each other, so any type of contagion that gets inside of this prison is going to spread like wildfire.”