Center on Sentencing and Corrections

COVID-19 in Correctional Settings: Unique Challenges and Proposed Responses

COVID-19 in Correctional Settings: Unique Challenges and Proposed Responses

Williams, Brie, Cyrus Ahalt, David Sears, Leah Rorvig, and David Cloud. “COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities: Challenges and Solutions.” Amend at UCSF, March 23, 2020.

This guidance from Amend, a group of public health and corrections experts, provides 12 action steps correctional agencies and other external stakeholders can take to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in prisons and jails. The organization stresses that safely reducing jail and prison populations is an essential strategy that will enable correctional and medical leaders to implement effective prevention, mitigation, and treatment in U.S. correctional facilities.

In addition to decarceration efforts, Amend recommends against the use of isolation as a long-term prevention strategy given that such measures are (a) inconsistent with international consensus on the need to reduce the use of isolation under all circumstances dramatically, (b) likely to undermine vital detection, testing, and contact tracing efforts, and (c) impractical, given the sheer numbers of chronically ill and older patients living in these settings.

 Click here to view the report.

Keywords: coronavirus, testing, screening, medical supplies, guidelines, containment, understaffing, doctors, jail, prison, public health, healthcare, medical experts, public health experts, public health guidance.