The rampage of COVID-19 continues throughout the country, leaving no stone unturned including in our jail and prison systems.
With the initial news of the Coronavirus outbreak the entire world stopped including the court systems. “All the court cases were being canceled that involved the transportation of defendants to court. They canceled those hearings and sent them back and reset the case to an arbitrary date in the future.”
Local Attorney at Law Michael Crosby says those were tense moments for the families of defendants who were wrongfully accused and in jail or had a court date during the start of the outbreak. “We were very terrified because the families had people in jail who they thought would be exposed and would be helpless.”
With guards and possibly trustees circulating in and out of jails and prisons, Governor Tate Reeves says it is imperative to take measures to stop the spread and keep all Mississippians safe. “We’re taking temperatures of all workers coming into the facility. If they have a fever they would not be allowed in. We’re also taking measures to make sure if someone feels bad or have symptoms that they are not allowed on the facilities.”
To help keep the traffic flowing, a breakthrough has been made. “They set up cameras at the different jails and then they have a little court room. They bring the defendants into those rooms. The attorneys and prosecutors to the law clerks were all in different locations but they put in a video screen on a computer where you could actually see everybody.”
Crosby says there’s still work to be done to protect those behind bars from COVID-19, but this is a major step forward in this pandemic. “When things are at their worst, people suddenly become their best. People are pulling together and all trying to do it’s right to help each other.”