COVID-19 Mismanagement: A Fractured Prison System

Covid has claimed more than 2,700 lives behind bars and infected 1 out of every 3 people in prison, a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative rates prisons' responses

We go to the Prison Policy Initiative for this week’s study, “States of emergency: The failure of prison system responses to COVID-19” by Tiana Herring and Andrea Fenster.

Prison Policy Initiative assessed departments of corrections across the United States on the following criteria: their ability to limit the number of people in prison, reduce infection and death rates, vaccinate the population, and provide basic necessities of health.

  • Above all states, New Jersey received the highest rating for its ability to meet the criteria. 

  • Following behind New Jersey is California due to their heightened efforts of providing vaccinations, extending state offerings of free calls and dismissing medical co-pays. 

  • Despite the composite scores, there were a few states who excelled in a single category.

    • North Dakota, New Jersey, and Oregon all received high scores for providing vaccinations.

    • New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois all reduced their prison populations. 

Read the whole study here

COVID-19 resources: State policy changesNewsBureau of Prisons updatesState court changesPrison holistic self care and protectionJailhouse Lawyers Handbook.

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