COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Introduction: "COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] has had a uniquely devastating impact on prisons and jails across the country. [...] Provided here are figures to help establish a shared understanding of the problem's scope and a starting place for discussion about potential policy responses. The brief begins with some key datapoints for easy reference. Then, we provide an overview of the death toll of incarcerated people and people who staff Texas prisons and jails. We compare Texas' prison deaths as a proportion of the prison population and infection rates with those for the state as a whole, the nation overall, and some peer prison systems in other jurisdictions. Next is an analysis of the demographics of people who died in terms of their age and race. We then briefly examine the legal status of those who died in custody, including their conviction status, sentences, parole eligibility, and conviction offense. By presenting this information, we hope to create a more detailed picture of the toll of COVID in Texas prisons and jails. The context and implications of the data will be examined in a future report. This brief covers only state-operated prisons and county-operated jails."

2020 Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/]
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