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What We Know About How W.Va. Jails, Prisons Are Handling COVID-19

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, criminal justice reform advocates are urging Gov. Jim Justice to do more to stem the spread of coronavirus in jails and prisons.

Justice announced Wednesday that another West Virginia county has been designated as a “hot spot” for COVID-19. As Dave Mistich reports Marion County will join six others who have been allowed to expand the enforcement of public health guidelines.

Most West Virginia residents are self-isolating to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But thousands employed or incarcerated in the state’s correctional facilities don’t have that option.

State officials have been able to reduce the numbers of inmates. But some people say the population is still too large to enforce federal recommendations for social distancing. Emily Allen reports.

In many cities and towns, there are people in charge, and there are people who get things done. In the latest episode of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s podcast, Us & Them host Trey Kay speaks with an agent of community change in the Upper Kanawha Valley — a region hit by one economic disappointment after another. This man describes himself as a “squeaky wheel.” He connects people, helps identify realistic opportunities and works to make things happen.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.