Eastern State Penitentiary adds virtual programs on COVID-19 in prisons

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — COVID-19 inside prisons and the pandemic's impact on our criminal justice system are among the topics covered in new programming at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Fairmount.

Sean Kelley, senior vice president at Eastern State Penitentiary, said their work is now more important than ever.

"We really consider Eastern State Penitentiary to be the national prison museum," he explained. "And right now this virus is ravaging incarcerated populations all over the country and, in fact, all over the world. And there are no easy answers about what to do about that, but the primary focus of our programming right now is looking at ways to engage audiences on the latest news coming out from prisons around the country and around the world."

Among the programming is an interactive talk show format hosted by Kelley.

"It's called Searchlight. It's every Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m. It's live from Eastern State Penitentiary," he detailed. 

"We also have a video podcast twice a week that's a news roundup about COVID-19 in prisons, Kelley continued. "And live every Wednesday afternoon, we have a different discussion of Eastern State's hospital, but of course we draw connections to healthcare in prisons today.”

There are also virtual tours and activities for kids. More information can be found at Eastern State Penitentiary's website.