over A new report shows that 230 people died of Covid-19 in Texas prisons. In county prisons, nearly 80% of people were detained before trial without even being convicted.
A group of researchers of The University of Texas at Austin reviewed data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), which reported that between March and October, at least 231 people in correctional facilities in the state died of Covid-19. This report only studied state-run prisons and county-run prisons because the researchers focused on the development of Texas Covid-1
The number 231 is probably a conservative number. As the researchers pointed out, TDCJ and county prisons update death reports after an autopsy (sometimes a few months after the incident). In addition, many people “died from COVID without being tested,” while others died as a result of the deterioration of the virus, so this number was not included.
Regardless of the prisoner’s conviction status, his death is tragic, but the UT Austin report shows that the state lacks the urgency to ensure the safety of as many people as possible. Among the prisoners who died in prison, 9 have been granted parole and are awaiting release, of which 21 have served 90% or more of their sentences, and 58% of the prisoners who died in prison are eligible for parole.
Texas is not alone: Although policy experts, correctional officers and prisoners themselves sounded the alarm earlier this year, Covid-19 was allowed to destroy the prison population, harming prisoners, correctional staff and surrounding communities within months. Civil rights groups and criminal justice experts advocate reducing the prison population as much as possible to smooth the curve. Unfortunately, few states have taken drastic action to combat the virus in prisons and prisons-according to the ACLU report in June, no state has more income than D-, and most states have high F.
As my colleague German Lopez reported in April, as the pandemic spread to the United States in the spring, prisons quickly became one of the centers of the crisis.
The chief doctor of the prison on Ricks Island, New York City call The coronavirus outbreak there-one of the country’s biggest diseases, with hundreds of people ill-“a public health disaster is unfolding before our eyes.” As of April 20, the confirmed infection rate in New York City prisons has exceeded 9%, and The diagnosis rate in New York City is less than 2%. Legal Aid Association.
According to the Parnell Correctional Institution in Michigan, as of April 15, 10% of prisoners and 21% of staff have tested positive for the coronavirus. Detroit Free Press. When the population was controlled, the epidemic there was even worse than the epidemic in Cook County or Ricks Island.
In Ohio, more than one-fifth of the confirmed cases in the state are dispatched by Columbus from the prison system Reported. In Marion Correctional Institution, 73% of inmates tested positive for the virus, most of which were in this case.
As Catherine Kim reported for Vox in early April, the correctional facility provided the perfect storm for the outbreak. Prisons and prisons are overcrowded. Inmates “share everything from cells, showers to dining rooms”, while prisoners “lack sufficient resources to maintain proper hygiene.” Without the space for social distancing, proper hygiene becomes especially important. As Jin reported, “most correctional centers do not provide soap” and the use of hand sanitizer is prohibited in most prisons “because it can be used to brew toxic alcoholic beverages.”
This is a terrible situation for prisoners, employees and the local community. As workers commute to and from get off work, they are also vulnerable to infection. Researchers strongly condemned the state’s leadership, arguing that “Texas’ failure to contain the spread of the virus in its correction facilities” has resulted in “destructive effects on people living and working in state prisons and prisons”.