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Law

Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead On His Jail's Pandemic Response

A photo of the Durham County Jail: a large silver building.
Laura Candler/WUNC
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The Durham County Jail

COVID-19 is spreading more quickly throughout North Carolina's population: public health metrics in the last week have some experts worried the state is heading in the wrong direction. Research shows the virus spreads more quickly indoors and when people have prolonged close contact with one another — something that's almost unavoidable in places like jails and prisons. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead about how the Durham County Detention Facility is adapting its policies to protect its inmates. Felicia Arriaga joins the conversation to talk about how other sheriffs are responding to the pandemic. She is an assistant professor of sociology at Appalachian State University who's been collecting data on jails' responses to COVID-19.
 

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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