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March 31, 2020 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily

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While
many
Americans
are

following the urging of the Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention

to practice social distancing due to

the COVID-19 outbreak, those in

prisons are often unable to comply

with this recommendation.

Nora Krinitsky, interim director

of the Prison Creative Arts Project

and director of the University of

Michigan Carceral State Project,

said one of the reasons the risk of

contracting COVID-19 is so great for

incarcerated individuals is due to

their close quarters. Krinitsky cited

an example of overcrowding in the

Women’s Huron Valley Correctional

Facility in Ypsilanti, which is the

only women’s correctional facility

in the state of Michigan. The facility

currently houses more than 2,200

women but was built to house a

capacity of only 1,100 inmates.

“If people are within proximity

with one another and have the

virus, the spread of it goes up

exponentially,”
Krinitsky
said.

“That
is
what
people
inside

are facing because they cannot

successfully
socially
distance

(from) one another. So that means

that we could see people become

infected and ill, potentially almost

wholesale, within a prison very

quickly, meaning in a number of

days.”

Krinitsky said many people

develop
underlying
conditions

while incarcerated due to the

stressful
environment
and

commonly inadequate health care.

These conditions have been cited

by the CDC to increase one’s chance

of contracting the virus and could

make fighting it off much more

difficult.


“Healthcare
in
prisons
is

sometimes difficult to access and

sometimes non-existent,” Krinitsky

said. “It’s already the case that

people who are inside or people

who come home from prison often

have really acute medical conditions

or chronic conditions that they’re

dealing with that have either been

caused by their incarceration or

exacerbated by their incarceration.”


Chris
Gautz,
Michigan

Department
of
Corrections

spokesperson, said the MDC is

taking
drastic
precautions
to

reduce the likelihood of the spread

of the virus inside their facilities.

Gautz spoke of precautions for

social distancing, such as reducing

General Educational Development

and substance abuse class sizes and

reducing the number of inmates

in the dining hall during meal

times. As of March 30, 80 currently

incarcerated people have tested

positive in Michigan.

“We are reducing the class sizes

that we have for different GED

classes, substance abuse, other

types of cognitive programming

that we do every day,” Gautz said.

“Typically less than 10 individuals

in those classes, and we’re having

them sit further apart while they’re

in the class. We’re doing the same

thing for our chow hall so when they

go out to eat meals, instead of having

an entire housing unit go out to eat

together, which could be anywhere

from 80 to 160 people at a time, we’re

doing half of that amount.”

michigandaily.com
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM

Incarcerated individuals face additional
risks as coronavirus pandemic progresses

Correctional facilities
are often unable to
meet recommendations
for containing outreak

DESIGN BY CARA JHANG

See INCARCERATED, Page 3

GOT A NEWS TIP?
Call 734-418-4115 or e-mail
news@michigandaily.com and let us know.

INDEX
Vol. CXXIX, No. 95
©2020 The Michigan Daily

N E W S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

O P I N I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

A R T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

S P O R T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
michigandaily.com

For more stories and coverage, visit
Follow The Daily
on Instagram,
@michigandaily

CAMPUS LIFE

Despite being unable to host

the event in-person due to the

coronavirus outbreak, VictorThon

attendees
danced
their
way

virtually to raising a preliminary

sum of more than $280,000 for

the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

over the weekend.

VictorThon
has
been
the

culminating event for Dance

Marathon at the University of

Michigan since the organization

was first established on campus

23 years ago.

Virtual event aids C.S.
Mott Children’s Hospital

U-M Dance
Marathon
raises $280K

Students talk impact of social distancing

Shifting to online classes, new CDC guidelines affect mental health, productivity

LSA sophomore Sree Anumolu

thought staying in her apartment

in Ann Arbor after classes were

moved
online
would
be
fun.

However, as more of her friends

started to leave, she decided to

return home as well.

Anumolu
has
obsessive-

compulsive disorder, which she

said can affect her productivity

and well-being. She told The Daily

having a community and staying

busy with school helps her to

manage OCD triggers, but social

distancing prevents her from using

socializing as a coping mechanism.

“My OCD has been really bad

for the past two years, but this

year started getting a lot better

because I just talked to my friends

about it and just tried to actively

forget about it,” Anumolu said.

“Trying to get out of the habits

and being with people helped a lot.

I remember compared to freshman

year, I became much more social

this year because I just knew that

having a strong circle was what I

needed to get out of it. For classes,

I made sure I kept myself busy

because if I keep myself busy,

those thoughts don’t come to me.”

Music,
Theatre
&
Dance

freshman
Payal
Parida
said

she saw her friends on campus

every day and the lack of social

interaction has been the hardest

part about leaving campus.

“I had my friends, we would

spend 24/7 together,” Parida said.

“I would not go a day without

seeing them and they were pretty

much like my second family. So

having that be completely cut off

like, so abrupt, was extremely

hard. You realize how important

social interaction is and as a human

being, isolation is so difficult, at

least for me.”

Christine
Asidao,
associate

director
of
community

engagement
and
outreach
for

Counseling
and
Psychological

Services, and Todd Sevig, director

of CAPS, told The Daily in an

email how CAPS is offering virtual

and phone appointments to those

experiencing anxiety due to social

distancing.

See DMUM, Page 3

JENNA SITEMAN
Daily Staff Reporter

DESIGN BY CHRISTINE JEGARL

See MENTAL HEALTH, Page 3

JASMIN LEE &

VARSHA VEDAPUDI

Daily Staff Reporters

CLAIRE HAO &
IZZI NGUYEN

Daily News Editor & For The Daily

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