Divya Sriharan

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In order to save the lives of inmates, as well as redress some of the harms the prison system and the pandemic have caused them, Congress must pass a bill to temporarily suspend the Prison Litigation Reform Act. As of August 13, 2020, 95,398 inmates have contracted COVID-19. Prisons refuse to adapt or implement measures to save lives. Because of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, it is near impossible for inmates to take their cases to court. The Prison Litigation Reform Act’s requirements include: exhausting all internal administrative remedies before filing in court, not allowing suits based on mental or emotional damage, requiring inmates to pay court fees, and limiting power of the courts to influence prisons. This allows the abuse of inmates to go unheard, and leaves prisons without accountability. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the abuses inmates face, but the Prison Litigation Reform Act ensures the abuses continue.