The Role of Jails in the Fight Against Coronavirus


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The Role of Jails in the Fight Against Coronavirus

In this webinar with Poynter’s Al Tompkins, you’ll examine conditions inside U.S. jails that contribute to the spread of COVID-19 among its population of detainees and workers — and their consequences.

Broadcast date: Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern



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Poynter’s Al Tompkins will be joined by Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff, both of the Marshall Project, to discuss the unfolding coronavirus epidemic in jails and prisons. Their piece, “Why Jails are So Important in the Fight Against Against Coronavirus,” published in collaboration with the New York Times’ Upshot, explains how 200,000 people are shuffled in and out of jails on a weekly basis and how this dense traffic can further exacerbate the growing health crisis.

What untold stories are lying in wait in your local jail? How are jail detainees, workers and the people in your community affected by disease prevention strategies — or the lack thereof — in jails in your region? Join Tompkins, Flagg and Neff in this webinar to inform your reporting about justice and the coronavirus in your community.


Broadcast date: Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern

Course learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  1. Examine how the conditions in U.S. jails affect the spread of COVID-19 among its populations of detainees and workers.
  2. Explore the consequences of justice system shutdowns and delays on citizens.
  3. Review investigative reporting techniques and strategies.

Who should take this course?

Journalists and investigative reporters covering jails and criminal justice in the time of coronavirus should take this course. If you’ve attended an in-person Covering Jails workshop with Tompkins in the past, this webinar will build on that foundation of knowledge and feature fresh content and story angles.


Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online

Al Tompkins

Senior Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Anna Flagg

Senior Data Reporter
The Marshall Project

Joseph Neff

Investigative Reporter
The Marshall Project

Training sponsor

This course is free thanks to the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation.