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The Check-In: Incarceration During Pandemic

KBIA host Janet Saidi is ready to take calls.

As a community, we've watched businesses close, streets and campuses empty, and more people wear masks and gloves when they leave the house. We’ve watched our world physically change around us.

But for people who are incarcerated, this crisis has looked different. People who are detained in Missouri and elsewhere are largely at the mercy of the environment and whatever it is that’s happening inside prisons. 

Nationwide, nearly 9,500 inmates have tested positive according to reporting by The Marshall Project. And, given the widespread shortage of COVID testing - that is probably an undercount. In Missouri, 24 inmates and 13 Department of Corrections staff members have tested positive for the virus, and one inmate has died.

To curtail the spread, the Missouri Department Of Corrections has implemented precautions to limit contact among inmates, to prevent prison employees from entering facilities while sick and to disinfect shared spaces more frequently.

In this episode, we talk with DOC director Anne Precythe about these initiatives, as well as persisting challenges faced by inmates, corrections staff and recently-released offenders during this crisis.

Our guests:

Anne Precythe, director of Missouri Department Of Corrections.

Mataka Askari, peer support specialist and community advocate.

To hear the live show, tune in weekdays at noon. Also, you can leave us a voicemail at 877-532-0971 about how you are handling the isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kristofor left KBIA in fall of 2021
Janet Saidi is a producer and professor at KBIA and the Missouri School of Journalism.
Zia Kelly graduated with degrees in journalism and public health at the University of Missouri - Columbia in May 2020.. Outside of the newsroom, she works part-time as a personal trainer and competes as an Olympic-style weightlifter.
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