CNN: End the silence about what Covid-19 is doing to America's prisons
The Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc in our nation's prisons and jails. We know it's bad, but because comprehensive data isn't being collected, we don't know exactly how bad it is.
One of us has been calling for more data collection since June and two of us started an organization, The COVID Prison Project, to gather and publicize this information where it is available. The project's data, which was used in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, shows infection rates among incarcerated people are nearly five times higher than the national average, and the death rates are three times higher.
By our count, at least 1,888 incarcerated individuals have died from Covid-19 and 104 correctional facility staff members have died. Given that Black Americans, who are six times more likely to be incarcerated than White Americans, also face a higher risk of Covid-19 complications in part because of systemic health inequities, it is likely too that they are bearing the brunt of the pandemic in our prisons and jails.
By: Elizabeth Warren, Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, and Kathryn Nowotny