Recommendations to the Biden-Harris Coronavirus Task Force on Immediate Steps to Combat COVID-19 Behind Bars

Biden Harris Coronavirus Recommendations Sq


Consistently among the biggest COVID-19 clusters in the United States, correctional facilities are seeing record high surges in coronavirus infections. The crowded and congregate nature of jails, prisons, and detention centers—where 2.3 million people are incarcerated and tens of thousands of staff work each day—pose a unique threat for the infection and spread of COVID-19. It is imperative to act immediately and decisively to combat COVID-19 behind bars. In this brief, Vera recommends ways that President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris can manage this crisis consistent with public health and safety by (1) reducing the number of people incarcerated to ease overcrowding; (2) protecting people who remain incarcerated by implementing best practices for prevention, testing, and containment; and (3) reorganizing correctional operations for social distance, not isolation or punishment.