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:

644,997

total cumulative cases among incarcerated people

3,159

total cumulative deaths among incarcerated people

235,337

total cumulative cases among staff

310

total cumulative deaths among staff

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Each spike represents the number incarcerated people who currently have COVID-19

1

58

120

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

ICE Karnes County Residential Center

Texas

3,121346,77811512,77800----

California Institution For Men

California

3,63210,0141062923083----

Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex

Mississippi

1,7314,30159147615----

Sheridan Correctional Center

Illinois

1,3898,31755329----57,801346,114

Santa Barbara Jails

California

1541,97749629113----

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
115%--
98%49%
95%4%
91%84%
89%72%

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September 29th, 2022

Tracking the Transparency of COVID Data in Juvenile Justice Facilities

Only 16% of youth detention facilities nationwide have reported COVID data. Specifically, only 1% county-run facilities, which make up over half of the youth facilities, have reported COVID data. We must do better. Just as counties have kept track of the spread of COVID in K-12 schools, equal emphasis should be placed on tracking the spread in juvenile justice facilities. As the pandemic continues and new variants arise, the public must be able to access information on the spread of the virus.

September 29th, 2022

Tracking COVID Protocol Transparency in Youth Detention Facilities

Twenty-two states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico do not provide relevant COVID safety protocol on their youth detention departments’ websites. Some states provide limited information. Notably, no state’s website includes information for every category we tracked.

September 23rd, 2022

ICE tried to solve its COVID crisis by detaining people in hotels. It was a complete failure.

Our investigation reveals that in the hotels where ICE housed detainees, infection rates hovered around 50 percent. We consider what might be behind that failure and what it might mean for immigration policy.

Our generous supporters include:

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