Locked Up in a Pandemic: Prisons, Prisoner Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sponsored by the Federal Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section, DePaul University College of Law and the National Police Accountability Project, this hour-long webinar describes the evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation’s jails and prisons. As public health experts have long recognized, jails and prisons are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of diseases like COVID-19 because people are confined in close quarters and severely restricted in their ability to maintain social distance or proper hygiene. A number of prisons in the United States have already become hot spots for the disease, endangering not just the prison population but also the communities surrounding those prisons. In response, lawyers for prisoners and detainees have been engaging in cutting edge legal efforts to help their clients, either through a release or some other type of reprieve, or by forcing better policies and practices within the institutions. This webinar will feature a discussion of some of those on-going efforts and how governmental entities are responding.

Panelists (in speaking order):

Sarah Gelsomino (’08) – Partner, Friedman & Gilbert

Bruce Hamilton – Staff Attorney, ACLU Foundation of Louisiana

Michael Cahoon – Organizer, The Promise of Justice Initiative

Eileen Rosen – Partner, Rock Fusco & Connelly

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