Covid-19 Case and Mortality Trends across Incarcerated Populations in the U.S.




Jodray, Megan
Xavier, Christy
Rasu, Rafia


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Purpose: Explore case and mortality rate differences across county, state, and federal facilities to identify places most vulnerable to coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Methods: Secondary retrospective cohort analysis utilizing the UCLA's comprehensive COVID-19 research data on cases and mortality trends collected until January 29th, 2021. This data set is collected by UCLA volunteers directly from facility websites. Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS. Results: Since March 2020, it is reported the total U.S. population of incarcerated residents has had 370,042 cases and 2,185 deaths nationally. County facilities have reported 19,099 (5.16%) cases and 43 (1.97%) deaths. State facilities have reported 305,616 cases and 1,913 deaths and have the highest case fatality ratio compared to all facilities. Federal facilities have reported 45,327 cases and 229 deaths. Out of total incarcerated resident population, Texas had 9.42% and 11.53% of cases and deaths, respectively. Moreover, there is a higher chance of dying from COVID-19 [RR: 5.55, 95%CI (3.36-9.17)] in a county prison compared to a federal prison in Texas. Conclusion: Limited information exists on the incarcerated population effected by COVID-19, especially amid an ongoing pandemic. There appears to be a higher risk of mortality in COVID-19 cases in state facilities compared to federal and in Texas we observed a 5 times higher risk of dying in county versus federal prisons. Identifying at-risk incarcerated populations can help control spread and reduce health gaps.