As of January 18, 2023, we are no longer regularly collecting data on COVID. Historical data remains accessible on our website and GitHub.

UCLA Law

COVID Behind Bars Data Project

We collect and analyze public information about the coronavirus pandemic in prisons, jails, youth facilities, and immigration detention centers across the United States. Our centralized source of data enables greater oversight of and accountability for carceral institutions’ responses to the pandemic behind bars. We also record legal and community responses to the crisis, including mass releases, legal filings, court orders, and organizing efforts.

Since the start of the pandemic, prisons and ICE detention centers across the U.S. have reported at least:

663,196

total cumulative cases among incarcerated people

3,181

total cumulative deaths among incarcerated people

247,194

total cumulative cases among staff

311

total cumulative deaths among staff

Showing in carceral facilities

Each spike represents the number of incarcerated people who have tested positive for COVID-19

1

21k

43k

This map displays COVID-19 cases and related deaths of people incarcerated in prisons and jails across the US. Click on a state to access more data.

This map displays reported COVID-19 cases and related deaths of people incarcerated in carceral facilities across the US. Click on a state to access more data.

Rates and active cases are not available for all facilities. Learn why.

Facilities with the highest

Cumulative CasesActive CasesCumulative DeathsTests
FacilityCountPer 10kCountPer 10kCountPer 10kCountPer 10k

Orange County Jails

California

42,59083,9382039--------

Wasco State Prison

California

5,29911,550235024----

Philadelphia Dept Of Jails

Pennsylvania

5,09610,6611327--------

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

California

4,8369,14048815----

Avenal State Prison

California

4,34210,328512819----

COVID-19 Vaccines in State and Federal Prisons

This table reflects data publicly reported by state and federal correctional agencies about the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to incarcerated people and staff in their facilities. The data reported here generally refer to people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine. There are some exceptions, noted with a flag, when agencies report only the number of people who have completed their vaccination schedules, and not the number of people partially vaccinated. Staff are generally not required to report their vaccination status to their employers, so the total numbers of staff who are vaccinated may be higher.

View our data on Github
JurisdictionVaccination Rate for Incarcerated PeopleVaccination Rate for Staff Members
120%--
99%62%
98%49%
93%72%
92%83%

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January 26th, 2023

Capturing a Piece of History: Stories from Advocates Who Lawyered on Behalf of Incarcerated Individuals During the COVID Pandemic

A volunteer-led effort, the Oral History team conducted dozens of interviews with attorneys and advocates who worked on behalf of incarcerated clients during the COVID pandemic. Eireann O'grady, the Oral History team lead, discusses how the project came to be and introduces several themes that run through the interviews. View the entire archive at: uclacovidbehindbars.org/oral-history-project.

January 13th, 2023

A Global Crisis: Our Q&A with Dr. Joe Amon on the International Crisis of COVID Behind Bars

We spoke to the health and human rights expert about the impacts of COVID on incarcerated people around the world, poor data transparency by just about all countries, and the potential for a new UN treaty requiring better data collecting and reporting.

November 29th, 2022

Study: Hispanic People in Texas Prisons Died of COVID at a Rate Double Their White Peers, Black People Died at Rate 1.6 Times

A New Study from UCLA finds that Hispanic People Died of COVID at Twice the Rate of their White Peers, and Black People Died at Rate 1.6 Times. Prison Crowding and Medical Copays Could Be Driving These Disparities.

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