Coronavirus death rates are THREE TIMES as high in US prisons than in the general population, study finds
- Researchers compared coronavirus cases and death rates among the US population to prisoners
- There were 3,251 cases per 100,000 inmates, which is 5.5 higher than among the general public
- The fatality rate was 39 deaths per 100 000 prisoners, which is three times higher than that of the American population
- Prisons are often overcrowded – making social distancing hard – unsanitary and have a short supply of cleaning products
Coronavirus infection and death rates are much higher in US prisons than in the general population, a new study suggests.
Researchers found the infection rate was 5.5 times higher among inmates than among the American public.
Additionally, the team, from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that the death rate was three times higher among prisoners than among the population.
Experts say prisons are often overcrowded – making social distancing hard if not impossible – unsanitary and have a short supply of cleaning products.
In a new study from Johns Hopkins University, researchers found there were 3,251 cases per 100,000 inmates, which is 5.5 higher than among the general public (above)
The fatality rate was 39 deaths per 100 000 prisoners, which is three times higher than that of the American population. Pictured: Inmates gather outside of tents at the Federal Correctional Institute Terminal Island prison in Los Angeles, California, May 1
For the study, published in JAMA Network Open, the team looked at data regarding prisoners from the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project.
Confirmed coronavirus and deaths were confirmed between March 31, 2020 and June 6, 2020.
The same data for the states was obtained over the same period from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Results showed there are 42,107 infections among 1,295,285 prisoners with a case rate of 3,251 cases per 100,000 inmates.
That’s 5.5 times higher than the general population case rate, which currently sits at 587 per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, there were 510 deaths among prisoners, bringing the rate to 39 deaths per 100 000 prisoners.
After adjusting for the fact that many of the deaths among the general public are in adults aged 65 older, the researchers determined that the prison coronavirus death was three times higher.
The daily case growth rate is also much higher at 8.3 percent per day in correctional facilities and 3.4 percent per day among American public.
‘While these numbers are striking, we actually think the disparities within prisons is much greater,’ lead author Dr Brendan Saloner, an associate professor in the department of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School, told CNN.
Saloner said some prisons are not even reporting cases, and worse, others are not testing inmates.
Part of the problem is that the pandemic has been particularly challenging for inmates inside jails and prisons.
Many correctional facilities are overcrowded or have common areas where social distancing cannot be practiced
There is often insufficient amounts of soap in bathroom to wash their hands and a lack of access to cleaning supplies such as hand sanitizer and wipes.
‘Prisoners have a right to adequate protection of their health while incarcerated,’ Saloner told CNN.
‘The reality of these findings shows that we aren’t coming anywhere close to meeting their basic needs.
‘Ultimately, it creates a dangerous situation for the inmates, prison staff, the communities that prisons are located in and in our overall effort to contain the crisis,’ he said.