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Op-Ed: As COVID rates rise, mandate vaccine for prison staff (USA Today)

In the USA Today, Research and Policy Fellow Amanda Klonsky and Senior Data Scientist Erika Tyagi make the case for mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for prison staff, who are helping to fuel a public health emergency in U.S. prisons by refusing vaccination in large numbers.

Op-Ed: Get Police Vaccinated (The Atlantic)

In The Atlantic, Research and Policy Fellow Amanda Klonsky argues for mandatory vaccination policies for law enforcement agencies across the country. In most states that report data, less than 50 percent of police officers have received COVID-19 vaccines, putting in harm's way incarcerated people as well as local community members.

Op-Ed: Prisons’ culture of secrecy endangers Georgians (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

With Georgia State Representative Josh McLaurin, Research and Policy Fellow Amanda Klonsky and Data Scientist Hope Johnson highlight the Georgia Department of Corrections' rollbacks of transparency measures put in place during the pandemic. Despite rising case numbers across the state, in mid-July, the Georgia Department of Corrections stopped reporting data related to COVID-19 inside its facilities, including the number of people who have died.

How We Utilize Public Records Requests to Obtain the Data Carceral Agencies Don't Report

In June 2020, we established a public records investigative team to obtain the COVID data carceral agencies don't publish. Since then, we've utilized state and federal public records statutes to request and collect pandemic-related data from a range of governmental bodies.

The States That Lead The Nation in COVID-19 Cases Are Hiding Their Prison Data

As the Delta variant causes surges across the country, the states with the greatest increases in new cases are also the least transparent about the spread of COVID-19 behind bars.

Prison Staff are Refusing Vaccines. Incarcerated People are Paying the Price.

With COVID-19 case numbers rising across the country, prisons workers remain largely unvaccinated, but agencies are doubling down on restrictions for incarcerated people.

Health is Justice Litigation Hub: A Tool for Advocates and Researchers

Have a legal research question about COVID behind bars? Check out the Health Is Justice Litigation Hub, a collaboration between the UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project, Zealous, the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, and the Bronx Defenders, a searchable database of court decisions and legal filings relating to the pandemic behind bars.

Spotlight on Dataset of Grassroots and Community Organizing Efforts around COVID Behind Bars

We've been collecting data related to grassroots organizing efforts since the start of the pandemic. Here's what we've found.

In Texas and Arizona, ICE has been detaining migrants in hotels. The infection rates inside are at least 25%. There's too much we don't know. ICE has been opaque about testing numbers, how it transports people to and from facilities, and how long people stay there.

New COVID outbreaks occurred in prisons and jails across the country, particularly in California, Alabama, and Texas. In Los Angeles jails, there are more than 300 active cases among incarcerated people. The need for decarceration and vaccination remains urgent.

With the Delta variant causing outbreaks across the country, COVID-19 is again surging in prisons. Prisons must decarcerate and staff must be vaccinated.

Reminder: The Florida Department of Corrections still hasn't updated its COVID data dashboard. More than two months have passed since the agency last reported the numbers of cases and deaths inside its prisons. As COVID surges in Florida, the public has no way of knowing its impact behind bars.

Take Our Survey 

We want to know how our website and data are being used. Take a quick survey to let us know how we — and our data — can be most useful to you.

You Can Analyze Our Raw Data

Do you want to download our raw data to perform your own analyses? On GitHub, you can access our raw data as well as our R package "behindbarstools," which includes a variety of functions to help pull, clean, wrangle, and visualize our data.
Copyright © 2021 UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project, All rights reserved.

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