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Giving Compass' Take:
• The Marshall Project shares data from each state about the spread of coronavirus in prisons.
• How can funders work to address the spread of COVID-19 in prisons? What is being done in your state?
• Learn more about the effects of COVID-19 in prisons.
By April 29, at least 14,513 people in prison had tested positive for the illness, a more than 50 percent increase from the week before.
Much of the remarkable recent growth in coronavirus cases has been due to a small handful of states—Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina among them—that began aggressively testing nearly everyone at prisons where people had become sick. This spate of testing would suggest that coronavirus had been circulating in prisons in much greater numbers than known, and that in the many states where tests have not been prevalent, far more people may have been carrying it than were initially reported.
The first known COVID-19 death of a prisoner was in Georgia when Anthony Cheek died on March 26. Cheek, who was 49 years old, had been held in Lee State Prison near Albany, a hotspot for the disease. Since then, at least 217 other prisoners have died of coronavirus-related causes. By April 29, the total number of deaths had risen by 66 percent in a week.
See the up-to-date data at The Marshall Project.