Report: Racially-Responsive Strategies Needed To Save Black Lives During COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 crisis has devastated the Black community in more ways than one. Majority-Black counties across the nation report three times the rate of infections and nearly six times the rate of deaths as majority-white counties.
Black people are more likely to have preexisting health conditions -- a result of centuries of socio-political inequality. The pandemic is also hitting Black communities harder economically. Black people are overrepresented in jails and prisons, which remain hot spots for COVID-19 infections.
In a new report, the Center for Justice Research and the Black Public Defender Association ask policymakers and advocates to center the COVID-19 conversation on race to allow for more productive crisis responses.
They call for more Black researchers, more input from Black communities, a realignment of criminal legal system responses with proven public health approaches, and decarceration coupled with proper planning and support.How do COVID-19 response efforts in jails and prisons affect Black communities outside their walls? What kinds of policies are needed to improve the status quo?
Are you part of the Black community? What has your experience been during this pandemic? How have you seen race play a role in public health responses, even before COVID-19?
- Dr. Howard Henderson, founding director of the Center for Justice Research and professor of justice administration at Texas Southern University
- April Frazier-Camara, co-founder and chair of the Black Public Defender Association
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, August 11.