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Jail cells

The COVID-19 pandemic is sure to become a staple of court dockets in the months and years to come, and already one sector has triggered a wave of litigation over questions of civil rights, public health, and institutional liability—America’s prisons and jails.

Since the first novel coronavirus cases reached the prisoner population earlier this year, hundreds of actions have been filed in state and federal courts. By early August, three prisoner-related matters had even reached the U.S. Supreme Court—the latest involving a preliminary injunction against the Orange County, Calif., jail.

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