ID: COV-023 03 Nov 2020

Institutional Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in American Prisons

The COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated the United States in early 2020, with correctional facilities becoming hot spots for the novel coronavirus shortly thereafter. Using data gathered from Departments of Corrections’ official websites, we provide a summary of state and federal prison system responses to COVID-19 as of June 2020. We highlight strengths and deficiencies in system responses as well as pertinent variations across jurisdictions. We conclude with a call for scholars and grant funders to prioritize incarceration-based data collection efforts on COVID-19 so the short and long-term consequences of the pandemic, and systemic responses to it, can be more fully assessed. (COV-023)

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