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

Oct 20, 2020

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.