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Into an Outbreak Behind Bars

More than 2 million Americans are sitting behind bars as the outbreak spreads.
Peter Kramer / for NBC News

Prisons are hotbeds of infection. People live in close quarters, where they often struggle to have access to soap and hot water. As COVID-19 sweeps the country, these men and women are doing everything they can to avoid getting sick. As many prisons reduce visitation rights, families that are already separated are struggling to remain in contact.

This week, host Trymaine Lee talks to a Colorado woman who is struggling to stay in touch with her incarcerated husband as the outbreak intensifies. We hear from corrections officials in New York and Colorado about the steps being taken to reduce the risk of coronavirus behind bars. And Dateline NBC producer Dan Slepian takes us inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility to meet JJ Velazquez. Velazquez describes how social dynamics inside prison are changing as fears of an outbreak grow.

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