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Carol Jacobsen on COVID-19 and Incarceration

May 21, 2020

Stamps Professor, Artist, and Director of the Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, Carol Jacobsen was quoted in Huffington Post in an article entitled “The Deadly Spread Of Coronavirus Is Hitting Women’s Prisons.

The article reports on coronavirus deaths of women in federal custody, including Susan Farrell, the first female prisoner to die from COVID-19 in Michigan.

At 74-years old, Farrell had served more than 30 years at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility for the death of her abusive husband, who she maintained she did not kill. 

“For so many women, their crimes are connected to acts of survival,” said Carol Jacobsen, the director of the Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, who advocated for Farrell’s unsuccessful clemency bid.

“These women are no threat to anyone. They were acting the way any reasonable person would act in a situation where they thought their life was under threat.”

Others are in prison for crimes connected to male co-defendants, she added. 

“Many of the women are in because of men who committed the crime and they were there and they may have had a hand in it but usually it’s very minor, if at all. And now they’re serving sentences that are often as much as the killer themselves,”Jacobsen said. 

The Deadly Spread Of Coronavirus Is Hitting Women’s Prisons | huffpost.com

Carol Jacobsen on COVID-19 and Incarceration