COVID-19 ALERT: Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility

Coronavirus outbreaks have transformed prisons into hot spots of infection, and among the societal inequalities the pandemic is exposing along the fault lines of race, class, and gender are some of the lesser known realities of mass incarceration, particularly those facing black women.

The vast majority of female inmates come from “marginalized communities where the health care was subpar at best, and it’s even worse whatever their fragilities are, and you layer on mental illness and autoimmune diseases among women,” Donna Hylton, a prison reform activist and author, who served 27 years in an upstate New York prison, told NBC News.

“These populations are medically compromised long before incarceration,” she said. “We didn’t have resources before incarceration, imagine the communities inside prisons and jails.”

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