Forensic Fridays: Corrections in the Time of Coronavirus Balancing Health, Safety and the Law in the Prison Pandemic Response

  • 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom

Among the populations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic has been the incarcerated, who live in enclosed, high-density environments with limited access to personal protective equipment and high rates of underlying respiratory and heart conditions. According to an article appearing in JAMA, COVID-19 cases in U.S. federal and state prisons between March 31 and June 6 were 5.5 times higher-and death rates three times higher-than among the general population. Here in Pennsylvania, one of the first states to plan and implement a response, a combination of early quarantining, vigorous testing and innovative population reduction has succeeded in containing the virus's spread. But at what costs to our public safety and laws?

Please join Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, Duquesne University Professor of Law and Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing member John T. Rago and a host of additional panelists to be announced as they review the state's and nation's efforts to grapple with this complex set of challenges and discuss the ramifications for public health, safety and the future of correctional policy.

To learn more about these programs, including CLE and other professional educational opportunities, or to register, please visit the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law homepage.