May. 9, 2022

Publication Date: May 2022

Author: Dielle T. Telada, Caitlin J. Saladino, William E. Brown, Jr. 

Abstract: Due to overcrowding, inadequate healthcare, systemic neglect, and violence in U.S. carceral (i.e. jails or prisons) and immigration detention centers, these facilities are a hot spot for the spread of COVID-19. In March 2020, the UCLA Law “Covid Behind Bars Data Project” began tracking official agency websites for self-reported data of COVID-19 across prisons, jails, and other detention facilities in the U.S. The number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and tests performed from 50 state correctional agencies, the District of Columbia’s Department of Corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and several county jail systems are explored in the original report. Due to inconsistencies in data reporting practices across agencies, efforts to collect and standardize COVID-19 data is challenging. This fact sheet explores the available COVID-19 data collected by the UCLA Law “Covid Behind Bars Data Project,” with a focus on agency data reporting and data quality.

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