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Report: Racially-Responsive Strategies Needed To Save Black Lives During COVID-19 Pandemic

On June 8, 2020, demonstrators hold signs downtown supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and protesting police brutality.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
On June 8, 2020, demonstrators hold signs downtown supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and protesting police brutality.

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?

Guests: 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, August 11.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon
Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.