The prisoners’ rights advocates apparently have the ability to bully City Council into doing whatever they want. Of course, there are considerations that need to be made. Sure, you’ll be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccination but you are going to have to weigh that against how much you enjoy sharing a cold cell with a roommate.
“Sacramento County jail inmates may now move to the front of the COVID vaccine line. The Sacramento County Jail system currently houses 3,300 inmates. The decision to vaccinate them comes after inmate activists called for safer COVID conditions in the jails following several outbreaks.
The move comes as many people living in Sacramento County are still not able to receive a vaccine. Craig Allen is 62-years-old and fighting several medical conditions, a plight that’s put him in Sacramento County’s Phase 1-C. He’s still unable to get a vaccine,” CBS Sacramento reports.
This decision is a baffling one, for sure. How can the city leaders sleep at night knowing that the prisoners have better access to medical care than those who have made all of the right decisions in life? To be fair, we understand where the city is coming from to a certain extent. Prisoners are among the most vulnerable members of the population.
If there is even one positive case behind the walls, prisoners are not giving much of any chance to survive. They are in an enclosed space, with very little choice over how much contact they have with one another. Serious outbreaks have been taking place in prisons since the pandemic began and they have serious consequences.
By the same token, the Sheriff’s Department has already been granting early releases to the inmates in question. They are actively looking to reduce the population and the risks that are associated with having so many people in an enclosed space. After a nasty outbreak that took place earlier this year, many of the prisoners (except for the truly hardened criminals) have been given the chance to head home.
We can be sympathetic to the situation, while still using our common sense. Lots of people want the vaccine right now and they’d like to avoid jail, too. Older citizens with underlying conditions deserve all of the help that they need, without having to jockey for positioning with the inmate population. These are the people who need to be able to access a vaccine sooner rather than later.
Craig Allen, who was interviewed by CBS Sacramento, is in a very tough spot. He’s sympathetic to what the city is trying to do but as a 65-year-old man with underlying conditions, time is running short. 3,300 inmates now need to be vaccinated and he is being bumped down the list on their behalf. It’s easy to see why that could be upsetting to any law-abiding citizen.
The optics here are awful but the city of Sacramento does not seem to care one bit. It’s pretty ridiculous to watch the city behave in such a manner. We believe that convicts should be vaccinated, for all of the reasons that were listed above. We’re just not sure why this has to be an either/or type of situation.
Now, citizens like Allen are left to wonder if they are ever going to have their chance to receive a vaccine of their own. Perhaps there is a compromise that can be made here. The prisoners could receive access to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that only requires one prick. After all, Dr. Fauci assures everyone it is perfectly safe to use.