ID: COV-024 03 Nov 2020

COVID-19 and Corrections in Australia: A Summary Review of the Available Data and Literature

In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and at the time of writing, there were more than 13 million known cases and more than 500,000 deaths. Not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 has the world needed to respond to the potential threat of a communicable disease with such a high rate of infection and fatality. Using publicly available data, media sources, and literature, this paper maps Australian corrective services’ responses to COVID-19. We find evidence of a concerted effort to reduce prison population numbers, as well as to recalibrate corrections practice in an effort to meet new social-distancing rules and regulations. Our analysis is motivated by the knowledge that prior to COVID-19, Australia had a rising prison population, a disproportionate growth in female and remand populations, and significant Indigenous overrepresentation. In this paper, we explore whether the immediate benefits of COVID-19 have helped or hindered efforts to address these wider concerns. (COV-024)

This resource is restricted to a higher membership level - please log in or upgrade your membership level to continue