Harvard study links jailing practices to COVID-19 spread

Monday, August 3, 2020 - 11:10 in Health & Medicine

This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring. American jails and prisons, in which large numbers of inmates live together in close quarters, have become COVID-19 hotspots. In fact, one published analysis found that eight of the 10 biggest clusters of the virus in the U.S. are now in correctional facilities. A new study, however, takes a look at the possible ripple effect these clusters may have in surrounding communities. The findings suggest that short-term cycling of prisoners through local jails for arrest and pretrial procedures may be putting entire cities and states at risk, especially communities of color, according to a new peer-reviewed study in the journal Health Affairs. The research also fuels the ongoing concerns over mass incarceration policies in the nation. The paper, co-authored...

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