07/08 News Flash 3: The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on prisons

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A new study published by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and UCLA Law analysed data from federal prisons and proved that the coronavirus case and death rates for federal and state prisons were much higher than US population rates.

The UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project sourced official data from all US states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to build a comprehensive report of the impact of the coronavirus on US prisoners. The study showed that between March 31st and June 6th, the case rate of Covid-19 in prisons was 3251 per 100,000 prisoners, which is 5.5 times higher than the national population rate of 587 cases per 100,000. The study also found that the death rate in prisons (when controlled for age and sex distribution discrepancies) was 3 times higher than the US average. 

The authors’ aim was to demonstrate the huge impact of the coronavirus on the prison system and incentivize the implementation of new infection control strategies.