Posts after April 11th are deleted by month. For example, May was removed, the next month June will be removed, etc. You will always have at least three months of archive. Older archives are on top, newer news items on the bottom.
At least 84 Texas state prisoners have died after contracting the coronavirus. As the death count rose, advocates unsuccessfully called on the governor and parole board for early release. James Allen Smith was only supposed to be at a Texas prison for a matter of months, sentenced to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after he pled guilty to a DWI offense in January.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday getting a handle on the out-of-control COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin state prison remains a ‘top priority for our admininstration’ and several remedies were being considered including the early parole of qualified inmates. As of six San Quentin inmates have died during the COVID-19 sicne Monday.
As with so many social brutalities, the pandemic has exacerbated this problem. Former prisoners reenter a world of soaring unemployment and shuttered social service offices. For those in Raoul’s position, even the first step toward getting life on track — getting an ID — is thwarted.
As COVID-19 infections spread rapidly through California’s prisons, authorities on July 6 announced the replacement of the state correction system’s top medical officer, and Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized an earlier decision to transfer hundreds of inmates from a Chino facility that had been battling an outbreak.
Covid-19 has raged throughout U.S. jails and prisons, where people live together in close quarters and there is little opportunity for social distancing, a lack of basic sanitary supplies and high rates of chronic disease. While inmates mostly stay behind concrete walls and barbed wire, those barriers can't contain an infectious disease like Covid-19. Not only can the virus be brought into jails and prisons, but it also can leave those facilities and spread widely into surrounding communities and beyond.
Experts Gov. J.B. Pritzker is relying on to help him manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the state sent the governor's staff emails in March that recommended coronavirus testing in prisons should be an area of focus, but a new survey released by a prison watchdog group found 89 percent of workers said they had not been tested prior to May.
Randy Rumler, a two-decade veteran of the Michigan Department of Corrections, has died after a battle with COVID-19. Inmates and loved ones connected to the Harrison facility have expressed concerns that the department introduced COVID-19 to the facility by using it as a "step-down" unit for people who had earlier tested positive for the virus but didn't currently have it, and weren't yet ready to return to their home facility.
More than 3,100 inmates at the Snake River Correctional Institution outside Ontario are under quarantine because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility.
At the end of June, the total number of coronavirus cases among prisoners had reached at least 52,649, an increase of 8% from the week before, according to data compiled by the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization focusing on criminal justice, and The Associated Press. At the end of June, the total number of coronavirus cases among prisoners had reached at least 52,649, an increase of 8% from the week before.
The number of Florida prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Tuesday, according to the state Department of Corrections.
COVID-19 has raged throughout U.S. jails and prisons, where people live together in close quarters and there is little opportunity for social distancing, a lack of basic sanitary supplies and high rates of chronic disease. While inmates mostly stay behind concrete walls and barbed wire, those barriers can’t contain an infectious disease like COVID-19. Not only can the virus be brought into jails and prisons, but it also can leave those facilities and spread widely into surrounding communities and beyond.
Nine of the nation’s 10 largest outbreak hotspots are jails and prisons. Because of deep-seated racial inequities in the justice system, failure to curb the virus’ spread through corrections facilities will lead to countless and needless deaths, disproportionately of people of color — once again demonstrating the lack of value placed on their lives. The incarceration rate of Black individuals is over five times that of white individuals, and about three in five individuals in prison are Black or Latinx — nearly double their share of the country’s population. We cannot allow over-incarceration to become a de facto death sentence for the millions — disproportionately people of color — behind bars.
Beverly Richmond’s son spent up to 36 hours at a time locked in a 6-by-9-foot cell with another prisoner and no toilet. She said he peed in water bottles and defecated in a coffee can. As of JUly 10, the prison had reported 229 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in prisoners and two prisoner deaths from the disease. At the same time, 54 staff members have tested positive with no deaths.
The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights on Friday afternoon warned of increasing numbers of coronavirus cases inside the country's prisons and called for immediate measures to curb the spread of the highly-contagious disease in such facilities. "The commission's monitoring teams in Baghdad and other provinces have reported coronavirus infections among inmates and prison employees," the body said in a statement.
Prisoners are 5.5 times more likely to get Covid-19 and three times more likely to die from it, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins and UCLA published today in JAMA, putting numbers to disparate evidence of the virality of the disease in prison settings. With the findings, the researchers conclude systemic change is needed: “COVID-19 in US prisons is unlikely to be contained without implementation of more effective infection control.”
A North Texas federal prison has emerged as the prison with the largest number of coronavirus cases in the nation. According to federal records updated daily, 37% of inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute in Seagoville have contracted the virus as of Friday afternoon. Families with loved ones at the penitentiary east of Dallas plan to protest near the prison on Saturday.
North Carolina prisons are out of compliance with a court order, a judge said Friday afternoon. A month ago, Wake County Superior Court Judge Vinston Rozier Jr. ruled that conditions in state prisons were likely unconstitutional in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In that June hearing, Rozier ordered the state to take several actions. The N.C. Department of Public Safety, which oversees prisons, needed to create a plan to test all people in state prison custody for COVID-19, limit transfers between prisons, account for disparities between prison responses to COVID-19 and to expand the criteria that would allow people to be released from prison sooner. In the order, Rozier wrote that the “state has failed to comply with the Court’s directions in several meaningful ways,” and that the court “is extremely concerned by the apparent indifference with which Defendants have treated the Court’s Orders.”
Workers at a federal prison in South Florida are warning about a potential coronavirus outbreak that they say could spread beyond the prison's walls. “Our inmates are testing positive and we might have to flood the local hospitals. We have numerous inmates all over in Dade county hospitals," said Kareen Troitino, President of Union Local 3690, which represents the correctional officers at the federal prison in Southwest Miami-Dade. "Yesterday alone we discovered in one area that held 60 inmates over 22 tested positive and that’s only after testing 28," he said. "We don’t know where this is going to lead but it looks catastrophic at the moment."
COVID-19 cases in US federal and state prisons were 5.5 times higher—and death rates three times higher—than in the general population according to research published yesterday in JAMA. A total of 42,107 of 1,295,285 prisoners had been infected with the novel coronavirus, for a case rate of 3.25%, versus 0.59% in the general US population. In the US population, there had been 1,920,904 coronavirus cases and 95,608 deaths.
Three more inmates have died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Meanwhile, county jails and federal prisons continue to battle outbreaks of the virus. To date, nine TDCJ employees have died after contracting the virus.
The storied prison is dealing with the third-largest coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Researchers fear that other institutions are at risk. Researchers in the Bay Area say it didn’t have to be this way. For the past four months, they have been offering prison officials free tests for the coronavirus, guidelines for protecting prisons from the pandemic and increasingly frantic warnings that trouble was coming.
A new analysis led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the number of U.S. prison residents who tested positive for COVID-19 was 5.5 times higher than the general U.S. population, with a prisoner case rate of 3,251 per 100,000 residents as compared to 587 cases per 100,000 in the general population.
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 at San Quentin State Prison has skyrocketed to more than 1,400, including six deaths so far. As a staff physician who provides medical care to incarcerated patients, I am devastated by the news, but sadly, I’m not surprised. On a daily basis, our medical teams work diligently within the constraints of the prison system to limit transmission, and our patients do what they can to protect themselves in their environment, but the undeniable fact is that the state prisons are well over capacity — despite court-mandated reductions over the past several years. The only way to prevent catastrophic loss of life both inside and outside the prison system is to significantly reduce the prison population.
Authorities announced on Monday that 45 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 this past weekend at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh. A total of 227 offenders within a housing unit were tested, and testing for the entire facility will soon be conducted, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
COVID-19 has more than doubled during the past month, prompting state officials to launch emergency plans at two prisons where there are significant staffing shortages. The emergency plans, a copy of which was read to The News Service of Florida, said workers at Dade Correctional Institution and Jefferson Correctional Institution will need to work 12-hour shifts up to six days a week to ensure “adequate staffing levels” are maintained at the prisons.
The state estimates that around 15% of its lab-confirmed cases are asymptomatic. IDOC is reporting that about 94% of its cases are showing no symptoms. IDOC has so far tested 1,581 inmates. Of those, 798 were negative and 682 were positive. Of the positive cases, 641 of them were asymptomatic, which is about 94%. However, since the Idaho Department of Correction began mass testing at its prisons south of Boise, asymptomatic numbers are much higher than CDC projections.
The Bureau of Prisons released data showing that 70 percent of all those tested in their facilities for COVID-19 have come back positive. Medical professionals warned us that it was the staff, who were interacting with the outside world, bringing COVID-19 into facilities.
At one prison, more than 750 inmates were actively infected with the coronavirus on July 13. Two Texas prisons each have more than 670 inmates with active coronavirus infections, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the highest counts seen at any state lockup since the pandemic began.
We wanted to know what percentage of inmates have had access to COVID-19 testing. Among Kentucky’s state prisons, 2,632 COVID-19 tests have been given among roughly 11,200 inmates. If you assume one test was given to one inmate, it represents about 23% of the prison population tested for coronavirus. But since many inmates, like Erica, were re-tested to confirm if they could be removed from isolation, the percentage of inmates actually tested for COVID-19 is likely much lower.
Two more San Quentin inmates have died of suspected complications from COVID-19, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. As of July 13th, 1,925 prisoners at the prison had contracted the virus and 10 had died. Of those who tested positive, 410 patients have recovered, according to the state.
New numbers released from the Oregon Department of Corrections show a spike in cases of COVID-19 at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario. The disease is currently infecting at least 120 people in custody and 21 staff. The prison houses more than 2,700 inmates, who are being quarantined to slow the spread. [Editor's Note: there are 36 staff and 141 prisoner virus positive at OSP, this is out of only 621 people tested.]
The coronavirus locked the Lehigh County Jail from both directions, with inmates quarantined mostly inside their cells, and outside visitors banned since early March from entering the Allentown facility. The long-awaited installation of a video visitation system at the jail late last month should help. For 25 cents a minute, prisoners can now use a tablet computer to chat with loved ones.
The COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison continued to escalate July 12 with more than 1,600 active cases among inmates and staff. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation COVID-19 tracker, the number of active cases among inmates had increased to 1,485 the 12th. Another 27 inmates had been released from the facility while infected, 372 inmates once infected had recovered and seven inmates have died.
As with so many social brutalities, the pandemic has exacerbated this problem. Former prisoners reenter a world of soaring unemployment and shuttered social service offices. For those in Raoul’s position, even the first step toward getting life on track — getting an ID — is thwarted.
Fox13Now.com said the protests were held simultaneously in St. George and Ogden outside county prosecutor offices Friday night. “There are ankle bracelets, things like that where they can be monitored. We don’t think that a jail sentence equals a death sentence,” said Malik Dayo of Black Lives Matter.
California officials will soon release another 2,100 inmates from state prisons in response to the coronavirus pandemic and in all now plans to release a total of more than 10,000 inmates, or nearly 10 percent of prisoners, as Gov. Gavin Newsom responds to intensifying pressure from advocates, lawmakers and federal judges.
Uganda has imposed one of Africa's strictest lockdowns, the country of 42 million has registered just 1,213 COVID-19 cases and five deaths from the disease, despite crumbling public hospitals, doctors' strikes and corruption scandals. But due to the harsh repression the number of prisoners in Uganda has risen from 59,000 to 65,000 in five months, exacerbating overcrowding. "Fear of contracting COVID-19 has been fuelling anxiety among inmates and we had mass escapes at two prisons," said Frank Baine, spokesman for Prisons service.
A group of US Senators led by Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker introduced legislation that is meant to provide more transparency about the handling of COVID-19 in prisons. This comes as the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) released its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 9 Action Plan ... which looks a lot like Phase Eight ... which looked a lot like Phase Seven. It begs the question as to whether there is a cohesive plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected over 10,000 federal inmates and over 1,000 correctional staff ... killed 110 inmates and one staff member.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Aug. 5, blocked a lower court order that the Orange County jail system practice social distancing, distribute hand sanitizer and keep the facilities clean to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Justices voted 5-4 to stay the earlier order issued by U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal against Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. The sheriff asked for an emergency appeal after Bernal ruled in May that Barnes had been inconsistent in following federal guidelines to protect jail inmates from the spread of coronavirus.
Organizers took the mic and urged city and state officials to allow inmates to serve out sentences on home incarceration instead of at the detention center, as confirmed coronavirus cases continue to stay at high levels across the country.
Corrections officials said Wednesday significantly more Vermont inmates held in a privately run Mississippi prison have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Three days after reporting 85 Vermont inmates had tested positive, officials now say the number has jumped to 147 after additional testing, or about two-thirds of the total 219 prisoners from the state held at the Mississippi prison.
517 inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex Tucson Whetstone Unit tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. The inmates who tested positive, which make up nearly half the unit's population of 1,066 inmates.
Barely a week after the first person incarcerated at a Muskegon prison began showing symptoms of COVID-19, mass testing at the facility has so far revealed 155 positive cases. It’s a significant outbreak in a prison that houses just over 1,200 men.
An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Kentucky State Reformatory is now linked to deaths of six inmates, the highest number of such fatalities at any of the state's 13 prisons, according to the Department of Corrections.
Wayne Rogers and his wife, 61, both contracted COVID-19 earlier last month, and were sent home to quarantine after a July 12 trip to the emergency room. Their health declined and they were both admitted to the hospital July 18. The couple got sicker over the course of two weeks, according to their daughter, Tiffany Davis. They died within an hour of each other on July 30.
More than 1,300 state and federal inmates and prison staff members in the tri-county area have tested positive for COVID-19, with six of those prisoners succumbing to the deadly virus.
More than a third of the Vermont inmates housed in Mississippi have tested positive for COVID-19, according to preliminary numbers released by the Vermont's Department of Corrections. Out of 219 Vermont inmates currently held at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in TutwilerMississippi, 85 tested positive for the virus.
American jails and prisons, in which large numbers of inmates live together in close quarters, have become COVID-19 hotspots. In fact, one published analysis found that the top 10 biggest clusters of the virus in the U.S. are now in correctional facilities. A new study, however, takes a look at the possible ripple effect these clusters may have in surrounding communities. The findings suggest that short-term cycling of prisoners through local jails for arrest and pretrial procedures may be putting entire cities and states at risk, especially communities of color, according to a new peer-reviewed study in the journal Health Affairs.
A ninth staff member has died from Covid-19, California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Sunday. The employee worked at San Quentin State Prison and was the first staff member at California's oldest prison to die of the disease, according to the department.
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 24 inmates there, according to the department. More than 1,000 staff members statewide are confirmed cases, according to the CDCR.
Families and loved ones of inmates in Washington state prisons are demanding that Gov. Jay Inslee and Department of Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair release more inmates from DOC facilities to prevent them for contracting COVID-19. Many family members of prisoners say inmates tell them prison guards do not wear masks while on duty and they fear they will bring COVID-19 into the prisons, resulting in prisoners getting sick and dying.
A man charged with rape is now accused of murdering his accuser after he was released from prison over coronavirus concerns, The Washington Post reports.
With a major increase in infections reported Friday, nearly 11,000 state prison inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and 63 have died, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
For people released from prison or jail, returning to their communities is a challenge in the best of times. Often, employers don’t want to hire them. A criminal record makes it hard to find housing. Many people have lost touch with family members. The coronavirus pandemic has magnified these challenges. Now, jobs are more scarce, and people are isolated.
The Bureau of Prisons has spent almost $3 million dollars on ultraviolet sanitizing devices to combat COVID-19 at 122 federal prisons. The contract, which was obtained by ABC News says that GM Hill Engineering is providing the BOP with ultraviolet sanitizing gates -- even though the World Health Organization says UV light technologies should not be used on human beings and there is no definitive scientific research on the use of UV light to protect against COVID-19.
A second coronavirus-related death following a weekend surge of positive COVID-19 cases at the Marion federal prison has inmates with medical conditions worried about their health in a prison that is not allowing them to distance, family members and inmates told the Tribune.
An inmate who was taken to the Oahu Community Correctional Center on Monday has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time state corrections officials have detected the virus in Hawaii’s inmate population, according to the Department of Public Safety. Public Safety officials also announced in written statements that four corrections officers at OCCC and other facilities tested positive this week.
As coronavirus has spread rapidly through prisons and jails around the country in recent months, the Texas lockup where Giannetta spent his last days has emerged as the hardest-hit federal prison in the United States. More than 1,300 of the roughly 1,750 prisoners at FCI Seagoville prison and camp have tested positive for the virus, according to data from the federal Bureau of Prisons -- a stunning three out of every four inmates. So far, three inmates at the prison, including Giannetta, have died from Covid-19.
Conditions in Ohio's pandemic-stricken prisons are helping ensure the spread of COVID-19 rather than stop it, putting entire communities at greater risk, according to data crunchers, inmate advocates and prison workers throughout the state. Ohio's prisons have a 9% rate of infection, compared with less than 1% for the rest of the population, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and analyzed by the UCLA COVID-19 Behind Bars.
The journalist contracted the disease while he was held in pretrial detention, according to a Facebook post by Monir’s daughter and reports in Al-Jazeera and the independent Egyptian news website Mada Masr. Monir was a “martyr of the freedom of the press in Egypt,” said one of his colleagues.
A correctional sergeant at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla has become the eighth state prison employee to die of COVID-19, authorities said. Sgt. Seeyengkee Ly, 38, died Aug. 2, according to a statement released by the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn. He spent more than 17 years with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and served at several prison facilities.
An inmate at a Connecticut prison was confirmed dead this week after he was found with a cloth mask intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19 tied around his neck, according to the state Department of Correction. The inmate's death has been ruled a suicide.
Of 110 jail inmates who were tested for COVID-19 earlier this week at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, 70 turned out to have the disease in exactly the kind of outbreak inside correctional facilities that advocates have feared. A statement released Thursday morning by the state Department of Public Safety revealed that seven additional adult correctional officers also tested positive, bringing the totals to 86 inmates and 14 staff members who have tested positive at the state’s largest jail so far.
Governor Whitmer signed a revised executive order on jails and prisons Saturday that requires adoption of testing protocols for Michigan Department of Corrections facilities, and requires that jails adopt comparable protocols in order to transfer prisons to state facilities, according to the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.
“Testing is at the very center of any strategy to keep prison and jail populations safe,” said Governor Whitmer.
The Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center has confirmed 55 new cases of coronavirus — the largest weekly increase at the facility since April, according to numbers from the Maryland Department of Health. The figures include 30 new cases among corrections staff and 15 among inmates at Central Booking in the past week, according to data released by the state.
In the state prisons, nearly 14,271 inmates and 2,185 staffers have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. That’s up from “1,600 cases in 13 ‘hot spot’ facilities” just six weeks ago. To date, 75 inmates have died from the virus, including at least 14 who were eligible for parole, as of August 13th.
In what critics call a “detention-to-deportation” pipeline, federal immigration officials have deported hundreds of Guatemalans infected with COVID-19 back to their native country. U.S. deportations of migrants have exported COVID-19 to Guatemala and prompted fear, chaos, and a collapse of already fragile health services.
As of August 14, 2020: Another 10 percent increase in COVID-19 cases behind bars as total tally nears 100,000. Coronavirus infections continue to spread at a rapid pace in federal and state prisons across the country. There are over 18,000 cases in Texas, nearly 13,000 in Florida, and roughly the same number in federal prisons. At least 847 prisoners have died of the virus, an increase of five percent over last week. More than 21,000 prison staff also have tested positive but many states don’t test.
U.S. Marshals are transporting prisoners without testing them for coronavirus. Federal prisoners are being shipped around the U.S. by plane, van, and bus with no way to know if they are carrying the virus, and exposing other prisoners, staff, and possibly the public along the way.
561 inmates and 25 staff members at the facility in Sanderson had tested positive for the coronavirus, with 294 pending inmate tests, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. In comparison, a week ago, 20 inmates and 17 staff members had tested positive.
With six inmates and three staff already testing positive, staff worry the prison system is unprepared to control the virus.
Florida’s prison system recorded more than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases and two inmate deaths over the weekend of August 6 and 9th, according to data released on August 10th by the state Department of Corrections. The number of prisoners who had tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 12,438, an increase of 1,463 cases since August 7th. The two inmate deaths brought the total number of inmates who have died of COVID-19 to 65. Also, an additional 98 corrections workers tested positive for the deadly respiratory illness over that weekend. In total, 2,044 corrections workers had been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of mid-Monday.
Weeks before the first reported cases of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, correctional healthcare experts warned that all the worst aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system — overcrowded, aging facilities lacking sanitary conditions and where medical care is, at best, sparse; too many older prisoners with underlying illnesses; regular flow of staff, guards, healthcare workers in and out of facilities — would leave detention facilities, and their surrounding communities, vulnerable to outbreaks. Despite those early warnings, even jails and prisons that believed they were well-prepared have seen a rapid spread of the virus.
Families of incarcerated people, advocates, and community organizers held a press conference Wednesday to shine a light on the intersecting crises of racism and COVID-19 in Washington State prisons. Advocates said DOC's "response has been inadequate, negligent, and harmful."
A state task force is calling on the legislature to give corrections and parole officials greater flexibility to release incarcerated people during declared disasters like the coronavirus pandemic.
The recommendation, part of a broader report on COVID-19′s disproportionate effect on communities of color, addresses a temporary reprieve program established by Gov. Tom Wolf that has released under 200 state inmates — a fraction of what advocates say is needed.
Inmates at the Yuma prison say they were threatened with violence and ordered by prison officials to refuse COVID-19 testing to keep outbreak numbers artificially low.
The Arizona Department of Corrections recently began conducting mass testing of all inmates across the entire state prison system, resulting in a rapid increase of COVID-19 positive cases being reported.
A trio of new studies is highlighting the burden of COVID-19 in the nation's prison population and shedding light on how prisons might be able to reduce transmission.
As deadly fires spread through California, first responders lack a crucial part of their emergency response team: prison inmate firefighters. The coronavirus has swept through correctional facilities and infected many vulnerable California inmates, leaving fewer available to help contain more than two dozen major fires and over 300 smaller ones. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has roughly half as many inmate fire crews than it originally had to work during the most dangerous part of wildfire season. Inmates are often on the front line doing dangerous work and making low pay, between $2 and $5 per day and $1 extra per hour when fighting a fire.
Nearly half the men incarcerated at a west Michigan prison have tested positive for COVID-19, a surge in hundreds of infections since the facility saw its first confirmed case in late July. As of Aug. 20, 612 prisoners at Muskegon Correctional Facility — 47% of the population of 1,296 people — and 15 staff were confirmed to have the virus.
Correctional facilities that resisted mass coronavirus testing for inmates erred in their decision to only test inmates with symptoms, leading to large initial undercounts, a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested.
By mid-August, jails, prisons, and other detention centers accounted for all of the top 10 Covid-19 clusters in the country. This week, the number of Covid-19 deaths among inmates and correctional officers passed 1,000, with more than 160,000 infected. But as Covid-19 cases among incarcerated people continue to climb, the racial makeup of those cases has remained obscured, despite the fact that the groups most affected by Covid-19 — people of color, and in particular, Black people — have also been disproportionately incarcerated.
Far more inmates inside Mississippi prisons have COVID-19 than are being detected, new reports suggest. “Absent aggressive screening for symptomatic testing or a widespread testing regime through which all staff and prisoners are tested, we must assume the numbers are grossly understated,” said J. Cliff Johnson, director of the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Some Hawaii prisoners and jail inmates will be released early due to COVID-19 risks, starting Wednesday. The Hawaii Supreme Court released its legal order Sunday evening, addressing inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Facility. It cited the unrest at OCCC in its order. Anyone let out early will have to check back in with the court next February.
Vague testing guidelines, faulty thermometers and inadequate staff training may have contributed to the COVID-19 outbreak in California prisons that has killed at least 54 inmates and sickened more than 9,500 others, the state’s Office of Inspector General reported.
New Jersey’s correctional facilities have been hit particularly hard. With 29 deaths for every 100,000 inmates, they have the highest COVID-19-related death rate in the nation.
The union representing Michigan prison officers called for the removal of Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington, saying it has lost confidence in her leadership over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oregon Department of Corrections said Wednesday a fourth inmate in their custody has died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. The inmate was serving their sentence at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, the DOC said.
With 811 coronavirus cases among Oregon prison staff and inmates, Gov. Kate Brown is considering another round of commutations to protect medically vulnerable inmates and those nearing their release dates.
In a letter to corrections Director Colette Peter sent Tuesday, Brown requested a list of inmates who are medically vulnerable or within two months of their release.
Two more Florida inmates have died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the coronavirus death toll among prisoners to 88, according to a report released by state corrections officials. The latest report showed that an additional 44 inmates and 30 corrections workers tested positive for the highly contagious coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, since Tuesday. As of mid-Wednesday, 15,445 inmates and 2,496 corrections workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is sure to become a staple of court dockets in the months and years to come, and already one sector has triggered a wave of litigation over questions of civil rights, public health, and institutional liability—America’s prisons and jails.
Green Bay Correctional Institution now has the most COVID-19 cases of any state-run correctional facility after 258 inmates tested positive. More than a quarter of those incarcerated at the maximum-security prison have contracted the virus. Twenty-five staff have also tested positive.
A coronavirus outbreak at a Muskegon prison in Michigan has now infected more than half the inmates there, killing one, prompting emergency call-ups of additional corrections officers. The Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF) had recorded 810 positive COVID-19 cases or 62 percent of 1,296 inmates tested.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced 688 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky on Tuesday, increasing the case total to 44,568, and 10 more people with the coronavirus have died.
Eight more Vermont inmates at a privately run Mississippi prison have tested positive for Covid-19. The total number of Vermont prisoners who have now tested positive for the coronavirus in the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi, now stands at 184. That means 84% of the 219 inmates from Vermont at that prison have tested positive for Covid-19.
The grounds in front of the historic capitol were transformed into a mock-graveyard Aug 22nd. The group, Florida Prisoner Solidarity created the demonstration to mark lives lost from COVID-19 in Florida prisons.
An inmate at California Institution for Men on Aug. 22, became the 21st prisoner at the Chino prison to die from apparent complications of COVID-19, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced. The inmate was not publicly identified.
Preston Easterwood left the prison in March, just as COVID-19 was ramping up across the nation, but before it officially got into the prison. Easterwood said he’s not surprised COVID-19 got into the prison, and describes panic and anxiety right before he left. He worked inside the prison right as the pandemic was in full force early in the spring, when prison staff were scrambling to find enough personal protection equipment and trying to keep inmates socially distanced, a near impossible task.
https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/08/23/former-officer-at-baker-correctional-institute-spInmate becomes 21st at Chino prison to die from COVID-19eaks-about-covid-outbreak-in-prison/
Florida’s prison system reached a grim milestone this week, as state corrections officials reported that more than 100 inmates have died of complications related to COVID-19. As of Sept. 4th, 107 inmates and at least three corrections workers had died of COVID-19.
A large coronavirus outbreak in a women’s prison near Muskogee and community spread in college towns drove the hotspots for active cases this week in Oklahoma. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, just outside Muskogee, had 721 inmates and 16 staff members with positive cases as of Sept. 3rd, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. That pushed the 74463 ZIP code in Taft to the top hotspot in the state.
As the COVID-19 infection toll inside United States prisons and jails reaches 100,000, some researchers are wondering if it’s time to reconsider bans on using prisoners in medical trials, such as the vaccine trials currently underway across the country. Though often in the center of the discussion of a contentious topic, prisoners have had little input into the conversation.
The number of Missouri prison inmates who have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic is approaching 1,000, and the number of infected prison staff has topped 300.
The Covid-19 infection and mortality rates are significantly higher in prisons than in the general population, though the severity differs widely among states, a new study found. With their crowded conditions and inadequate resources, jails and prisons have been the source of some of the country's largest Covid-19 outbreaks.
Federal prison guards in McDowell County are concerned that a planned influx of inmates could pose a COVID-19 risk to the correctional center and the community. Plans are in place to soon transfer hundreds of inmates from southern states to the McDowell Federal Correctional Institute in Welch and facilities in Alderson and Hazelton, said Brian Lucas, president of Local 480, the union representing area federal correctional employees.
As of September 1st, 1,144 of the 1,410 inmates at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19. The South Central Correctional Facility is a private prison operated by CoreCivic. To add insult to injury, CoreCivic said "The health and safety of the individuals entrusted to our care ... is the top priority for CoreCivic."
According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, there are currently 1,206 active cases in state prisons. In total, 12 people incarcerated in state facilities have died. Three new deaths were reported September 1st.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is working to contain an outbreak at a women’s correctional center in Muskogee County after 504 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Out of the 504 positive inmates at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center that have tested positive, only seven inmates have recovered and 262 are in quarantine, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website.
Officials at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac say it has a cluster of COVID-19 infections among inmates and staff. The Seattle Times reports that the Federal Bureau of Prisons said 31 inmates and six staff members at the facility had tested positive for the coronavirus.
State prisons chief Ralph Diaz, who presided over the final stages of a huge court-ordered reduction in inmate population as well as the system’s sometimes-bungled response to COVID-19, is retiring in October, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
Maurice Ford became the second sheriff's office deputy to die from the coronavirus this year. He worked in the West Detention Center in Belle Glade and had been with the sheriff's office since 2006.
Prison COVID-19 Information Project - First Published April 11, 2020
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