SSN Commentary

COVID-19 Shows Mass Incarceration Is a Disaster for Maine’s Most Vulnerable

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University of Maine at Augusta

Originally published as COVID-19 Shows Mass Incarceration Is a Disaster for Maine’s Most Vulnerable, Bangor Daily News, May 19, 2020

From screen time to food scarcity and health care access, parents and families are dealing with all sorts of hardships in the pandemic. For many incarcerated mothers, these challenges, including social isolation and severed community connections, were already a daily reality. The stress and anxiety of parenting from behind bars is now compounded by the threat of COVID’s spread in prison.

Around the country, prisons and jails are sparking large outbreaks. To date, Maine’s Department of Corrections has released 30 of the 145 women in custody through the Supervised Community Confinement Program. Advocates across the state are still fighting to get more incarcerated Mainers home to stop the virus’ spread.