The pandemic in our prisons: Appriss study looks at the impact of COVID-19 on jail populations

Jails and prisons across the nation have represented some of the most significant COVID-19 outbreaks to date, according to Poynter. In response, public officials have worked to depopulate jails through early release and reduced bookings, but the crisis is far from abated.

Pages from INST-covid19 jail population-WP-FINAL (003)Correctional institutions play a critical role in preventing the spread of the virus and with millions of people cycling through jail each year, it is imperative to provide rigorous research.

A newly released study conducted by Appriss in collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice represents the foundation for an in-depth assessment of jail booking and releases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, our study examines the differences in jail bookings, offense types, jail releases, and release reasons during the pandemic compared to the same time in 2019. Data show that bookings are down compared to last year but are steadily increasing. The study also looks at the differences in releases during the pandemic by gender, race, and ethnicity.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Christian Henrichson at the Vera Institute of Justice to conduct this research. He leads Vera Insights, a data analysis and visualization team focused on reducing mass incarceration and helping officials rethink their use of jails as a means to keep communities safe.

Appriss Insights Team

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Appriss Insights Team

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