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        疫情之下,美國監獄狀況更糟糕了(下)

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        And though some states promised to release people early to reduce numbers, in reality the entire reduction has come from admitting fewer people in the first place, says John Pfaff, of Fordham University in New York.

        紐約福特漢姆大學的約翰·普法夫表示,盡管一些州承諾提前釋放罪犯以減少人數,但實際上,整個罪犯人數的減少主要來自于入獄人數的減少。

        Now that the virus is receding, the number of prisoners may rise again, suggests Mr Pfaff, as jury trials resume.

        普法夫先生表示,現在病毒正在消退,隨著陪審團審判的恢復,囚犯的數量可能會再次上升。

        Yet many prison officers chose to quit or retire as covid raged.

        然而,隨著新冠肺炎疫情的蔓延,許多獄警選擇辭職或退休。

        And as wages surge elsewhere, fewer are joining to replace them.

        隨著其他地方工資的飆升,加入接替他們的人越來越少。

        Last summer, nearly one-third of positions in federal prisons were vacant.

        去年夏天,聯邦監獄近三分之一的職位空缺。

        In September an anonymous guard at Lee Arrendale State prison, a women’s facility in Georgia, told state representatives that “on a good day” there might be as few as six or seven officers to guard 1,200 inmates.

        9月份,佐治亞州女子監獄-李·阿倫代爾州立監獄的一名匿名獄警告訴州代表,“情況好的時候”,可能只有6到7名警察來看守1200名囚犯。

        Hannah Riley, of the Southern Centre for Human Rights, an advocacy group, reckons 70% of positions in the state are unfilled.

        一個倡導組織南方人權中心的漢娜·萊利估計,該州70%的職位空缺。

        (The Georgia Department of Corrections did not reply to a request for comment.)

        (佐治亞州懲教部沒有回復記者的置評請求。)

        Georgia is now under investigation from federal authorities, such is the extent of violence inside.

        佐治亞州現在正在接受聯邦當局的調查,這就是內部暴力的程度。

        What does this all add up to?

        所有這一切意味著什么呢?

        Even with the recent decline, America imprisons more people than any other criminal-justice system.

        即使犯罪率有所下降,美國關押的人也比其他任何刑事司法系統都多。

        Black and Hispanic people are especially likely to be locked up.

        黑人和西班牙裔人特別容易被關起來。

        In 2018 one in 45 black men was in prison (and more still in jails).

        2018年,每45名黑人男性中就有一人在監獄里(而且還有更多的人在監禁)。

        Poor conditions are not only egregious human-rights violations.

        惡劣的環境不僅是嚴重的侵犯人權行為。

        They also make prison less effective.

        還降低了監獄的效率。

        A Department of Justice study from 2018 found that five out of six people released from state prisons were rearrested within nine years.

        司法部2018年的一項研究發現,從州立監獄獲釋的六人中,就有五人在九年內再次被捕。

        The fact that prisoners are warehoused with limited access to education or mental-health treatment, in a place where drug abuse and gangs are rife, is surely part of the reason.

        事實上,囚犯被關押在一個毒品濫用和幫派猖獗的地方,他們獲得教育或心理健康治療的機會有限,這肯定是部分原因。

        Worsening conditions are likely to lead to more reoffending.

        不斷惡化的情況可能會導致更多的再次犯罪。

        Restrictions on visits mean many prisoners have lost contact with family over the past two years, says Jobi Cates, the founder of Restore Justice, a charity in Illinois which presses for criminal-justice reform.

        伊利諾伊州一家致力于推動刑事司法改革的慈善機構“恢復正義”的創始人喬比·凱茨表示,對探視的限制意味著許多囚犯在過去兩年里失去了與家人的聯系。

        Visits are "everything for our people", she says, but prisons have been slow to bring them back.

        她說,探訪是“我們人民的一切”,但監獄遲遲沒有推進。

        It is not only family members who have been kept out, but also teachers, therapists and others who help prepare people for release.

        被拒之門外的不僅是家人,還有老師、治療師還有其他幫助人們為釋放做準備的人。

        Electronic means of keeping in contact got worse, too, because of staff shortages and worries about moving people around.

        由于人員短缺和對人員流動的擔憂,保持聯系的電子手段也變得越來越糟糕。

        “They made it to where you can only get one phone call a day,” says NaJei Webster, who was released from a prison in Illinois in September, and who now works for Ms Cates’s charity.

        納吉·韋伯斯特說:“他們到了一天只能接一個電話的地步?!彼?月份從伊利諾伊州的一所監獄獲釋,現在在凱茨的慈善機構工作。

        Prisoners can get access to email through tablet computers, but these cost money—not only for the machine but also per email sent.

        囚犯可以通過平板電腦訪問電子郵件,但這是需要花錢的,不僅是平板電腦的費用,還有發送每封電子郵件的費用。

        Sending money to prisoners to pay for these services comes with exorbitant fees, charged by firms such as Global Tel Link and JPay, which saw its revenues spike in 2020.

        向囚犯匯款以支付這些服務需要高昂的費用,由Global Tel Link和JPay等公司收取,這些公司在2020年的收入激增。

        The tragedy is that falling prison populations ought to be an opportunity to close some of the worst institutions.

        可悲的是人數減少,本來有機會將這些監獄中最糟糕的一些關閉。

        And state budgets are unusually replete with cash.

        政府資金也充足。

        Mr Ossoff says he has found that improving conditions in prisons (unlike releasing people) has bipartisan support.

        奧斯索夫先生說,他發現改善監獄條件(與釋放人不同)得到了兩黨的支持。

        With several Republicans, he is pushing for more congressional oversight of prisons.

        與幾名共和黨人一道,他正在推動國會加強對監獄的監督。

        But prison-guard unions are reluctant to accept changes that make their jobs harder, and, thanks to the staff shortages, they are more powerful than ever.

        但讓他們的工作變得更難,獄警工會是不愿接受這個變化的,而且由于人員短缺,他們比以往任何時候都更強大。

        It seems more likely that things will get worse.

        情況似乎有可能變得更糟。

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