Giving Compass' Take:
- Emily Widra summarizes data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics which demonstrates that prisons did not utilize proper COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
- Why did prisons neglect COVID-19 mitigation guidelines? What does this indicate about what prisons value or don't value?
- Read about tackling the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ August 2022 report Impact of COVID-19 on State and Federal Prisons, March 2020-February 2021 examines an inventory of measures each state prison system took to mitigate COVID-19, ranging from policies to reduce prison populations to efforts to provide vaccines and hand sanitizer to incarcerated people. The data reinforces what we already know about correctional settings during the pandemic: although crowded living spaces like prisons are generally hotspots for infection transmission, only some departments of corrections followed guidance from medical professionals, public health officials, and the CDC, while others ignored even the most basic recommendations. Below, we summarize the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ findings about state responses to various mitigation tactics and compile key findings about slowing prison admissions, increasing prison releases, testing for the virus, altering housing placements to prevent spread, and providing face masks.
Read the full article about COVID-19 mitigation in prisons by Emily Widra at Prison Policy Initiative.