First, I must give credit for The Marshall Project. The Marshall Project is deeply engaged in criminal justice reform.  Dr. Brie Williams and Dr. Leah Rorvig wrote a great article tiled ” COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Incarcerated People” that appeared in the Marshall Project. If your interested in criminal justice reform, you should follow them on Twitter at @MarshallProj. Here are the good doctors advice on avoiding COVID-19 while in custody. One thing you need to know. jails are not equipped to deal with a pandemic. Jails are designed and maintained  to keep people in jail.

  1. Wash you hands. If you pass a hand sanitizer walking to chow or anywhere else, use it. Try to wash your hands every time you leave and enter your cell.
  2. Wash your hands every time you use the toilet. Try to use some toilet paper when using the toilet handle. If you can , wash the seat with soap and water.
  3. Ask for a mask. You might not get one but ask. Make one for your cell. I doubt anyone is going to let you walk around with a mask.
  4. Using the phone requires you to wash your hands before and after using the phone. Use something to cover the phone that is approved by the facility.

You can read their full article at Some of their advice will not work in some of the county jails and prisons in Tennessee. Here is the key takeaway.The virus stays alive on plastic or metal for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for 24 hours. Wash your hands every chance you get.  Please share this information to loved ones the next time you call, text or write.