(RNS) — As fears about the COVID-19 pandemic continue to spread, some faith groups and other activists are turning their attention to the nearly 2.3 million Americans currently incarcerated, including about 175,000 inmates in federal prisons.

Those prisoners are often held in crowded spaces and regularly exposed to new inmates entering the prison system, prompting federal prison officials to say some inmates may have to be moved to prevent overcrowding.

Officials in New York and in Oklahoma City are working to release some nonviolent inmates, according to The New York Times, while faith-based activists have called for some prisoners to be released to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

To get a sense of what life is like in prison during the coronavirus pandemic

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