COVID-19 has taken an enormous toll on our country, and correctional facilities are no exception. In fact, 1 in 5 prisoners in America has had COVID-19, compared to 1 in 20 in the general population. While the new vaccine may help slow the spread of the virus, jails and prisons continue to face unique challenges during the pandemic. Prisoners do not have the option to social distance, and the influx of people constantly moving in and out of correctional facilities enables the infection to spread at a rapid rate.
The following graphic from Statutes-of-Limitations.com visualizes which states’ prisoners have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. Arkansas’s prisoners had the highest infection rate, with 4,502 cases per 10,000 prisoners. New Jersey topped the list for COVID-19 deaths. The state had 34 deaths for every 10,000 prisoners. As of October 20, 2020, there were 152,955 people in prisoners that have contracted the virus.