Prisons and Jails: Incarceration During COVID-19 Explained by Experts

With the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact still being felt in every area of American life, rigorous reporting on the crisis remains vital. To meet this need, Scholars Strategy Network has compiled a list of scholars who are available to be contacted for comments and analysis. Below are the scholars who can comment on the ongoing vulnerability of incarcerated people during the pandemic.

You can connect with all researchers available to comment on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

University of California Irvine

"While nursing homes were the epicenters of the first wave of the pandemic, prisons are quickly becoming the epicenters of the second. More needs to be done to protect prisoners, staff, and the communities to which those staff return every day. Releases are important and may well save many vulnerable individuals. But prisons need adequate sanitation supplies and protective equipment, education about using this equipment, and resources to provide enough basic care to ensure that prisoners are willing to report feeling sick, can be safely separated (but not solitarily confined), and will receive treatment. A sentence to prison is not a sentence to death."

University of California, Irvine

"The largest COVID-19 hotspots in the US are prisons and jails.  As overcrowded and under-funded places, and with staff, officers, and other employees who travel to and from these facilities every day, outbreaks at these institutions are a public health crisis and are imperiling mitigation efforts in the community. To address this problem, prisons and jails need to reduce their capacity through releases to home confinement, increase the use of PPE and testing, and implement medical isolation that is not punitive."