COVID-19 incidence and mortality in federal and state prisons compared with the US population, April 5, 2020, to April 3, 2021

JAMAMarquez N, Ward JA, Parish K, et al. | October 08, 2021

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COVID-19 cases and deaths were determined among US federal and state prisoners during the first 52 weeks of the pandemic relative to the overall US population. Via this work, researchers sought to update the previously published report analyzing COVID-19 incidence and mortality in prisons through June 6, 2020.

  • The UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project obtained counts of COVID-19 cases and deaths among prisoners in all 50 state prison systems and the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 52 weeks from April 5, 2020, to April 3, 2021.

  • The US prison population had 394,066 COVID-19 cases and 2,555 deaths due to COVID-19.

  • Overall, reports indicated consistently higher COVID-19 incidence and standardized mortality rates among the prison population relative to the overall US population in the first year of the pandemic.

  • While late 2020 and early 2021 had peaked COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates and there had been a decline in these rates since then, the prison population had several times greater cumulative toll of COVID-19 relative to the overall US population.

Read the full article on JAMA

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