Prisons in Ohio have been and still are a consistent hotspot for COVID 19 cases. Over 80% of inmates at Marion Correctional Institution tested positive for COVID 19. As of May 6th 27 staff members and 14 youth tested positive at Franklin County's juvenile detention center in downtown Columbus. Statewide, 37 prison inmates have died from COVID-19. These rates are staggering.
Ohio prisons are overcrowded. During a time when social distancing is the saving grace against the spread of a deadly disease, overcrowding is deeply concerning. Ohio is mass testing inmates as a response to the climbing infection rates and has made attempts to implement health and safety measures. Although this is a step in the right direction, the magnitude of the infection rate in overcrowded conditions is deeply problematic.
Religious leaders continue to express their pastoral care and concern for corrections staff, inmates, and their families as well as for returning citizens as they reenter into society. As of one year with the Diocese of Columbus, Bishop Brennan has accompanied Catholic chaplains and volunteers and celebrated Mass for the inmates at several correctional institutions with plans to continue the outreach to other locations throughout the diocese.
Masks Needed! - Returning citizens coming out of incarceration often do not have access to items such as masks, gloves, or other Personal Protective Equipment. Because of this they at high risk of contracting COVID 19. ARCH is looking for masks to include in Blessing Bags given to the returning citizens upon release. If you are able to donate masks, please fill out this form HERE. We will get in contact with you as soon as possible. Thank you!
Families affected by having a parent in jail and/or prison needed for research study - A research team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are seeking to find strategies and solutions to best support youth with incarcerated parents. Youth participants will be interviewed about their experiences with an incarcerated parent, and adult participants (caregivers or parents upon 1 year of release of jail or prison) will be interviewed about caring for a child with an incarcerated parent. Participants will be given $40 for completion of the interview and no identifiable information about the participants will be collected.
In the News
How Those Incarcerated Suffer Most in the Covid-19 Pandemic - COVID-19 is affecting everybody. But like most catastrophes, the majority of us are inconvenienced, while for the most vulnerable, this virus becomes another life-and-death experience.Expert: Ohio Better get Ready for More Coronavirus Hot Spots in State Prisons - Corrections officers and inmates have disclosed frightening conditions in the Marion Correctional Institution (next door to North Central) and Pickaway Correctional Institution, where about 80% of inmates and more than 275 workers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)