(RNS) — On Thursday (Jan. 14), Patrick O’Neill will report to the Federal Correctional Institution near Elkton, Ohio, to serve a 14-month sentence for breaking into a nuclear submarine base as part of a symbolic nuclear disarmament action he took up with six other Catholic pacifists more than two years ago.

But on his way to prison, O’Neill has taken up a new cause: protecting inmates from COVID-19.

READ: Catholic worker who broke into naval base to protest nuclear weapons sentenced

Some 329,298 prisoners across the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus and about 2,020 have died, according to the Marshall Project, the online journalism organization focused on criminal justice.

Prison facilities are often overcrowded and poorly ventilated, making it nearly impossible to

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