Arizona Department of Corrections Receives Fail Rating for COVID-19 Management – State of Reform


According to new data from Prison policy initiative.

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More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the virus has claims the lives of more than 2,700 prisoners and infected one in three people in the country’s prisons.

Recent The data Arizona Corrections Rehabilitation and Reintegration Department (ADCRR) shows that 49,471 inmates have been tested for COVID-19, including 12,372 positive for the virus.

Data from group shows that the positivity rate in Arizona prisons is more than double that of the general population (34% vs. 12.5%).

Since the start of the pandemic, the overcrowded facility of prisons, thanks to years of mass incarceration, has never been a good formula in the face of mass pandemics. With the onslaught of COVID-19 infections since March of last year, conditions have not improved in prisons. Arizona is included in this list.

More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the virus has claims more than 2,700 people behind bars and infected one in three people in the system.

Prison policy initiative, a non-profit aimed at producing a blanket that exposes the damage caused by mass incarceration, published a report a year earlier on the COVID-19 situation in prisons. According to the group, most corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have done little to improve conditions for inmates during the pandemic.

In a menu A tool released by the group, the Arizona prison system received an “F” for its handling of the pandemic.

The group assessed each of the state’s prison systems on a four-part basis. These categories relate to population reduction (measures to reduce overcrowding of inmates), infection and death rates among inmates, vaccination efforts put in place by prisons and any policy changes to meet the needs. health (free phone / video calls, masks, etc.). Points were then awarded to each state based on the amount of public information available.

For the first category, population reductions, Arizona fell into the “less than 70 points” category with a score of 29. The highest amount available for that area was 130 points. For the infection and mortality category, Arizona fell into the “40 to 74 points” category with 64 of a possible 145 points. For the vaccine category, Arizona fell into the “40 to 54 points” category with 45 out of 55 possible points. “Basic politics” was the last category and Arizona fell into the “less than 70 points” zone with 45 of 115 possible points.

According to the report, the data recorded gave Arizona a total score of 183, which corresponds to a score of 41% and a failing grade.

The data for each of the scoring criteria tells the same story.

For the “population reduction” category, data on Arizona prisons showed an increase in the category with a population decline of 14.4% (42,360 inmates in March 2020 to 36,266 as of September 1). ).

For the infection and mortality category, the numbers show just how serious the situation is. As previously mentioned, the percent positivity rate among the Arizona prison population was 34% as of September 1. This number is more than double the positivity rate of the general population rate of 12.5%.

For the vaccine category, the figures are encouraging. Data in the report showed that the vaccination rate among inmates was 72.5% (26,291 inmates received the first doses out of 36,266 inmates in total).

In the basic policies category, data showed that masks, hygiene products and free phone / video calls were provided to those in prison. Staff are required to wear masks but are not required to undergo testing. Inmates, however, were still plagued by medical co-payments.

Overall, data from this study shows that Arizona prisons met some of the needs of inmates during the pandemic, but that more could be done.

The Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry did not respond to a request for an interview from the reform state.

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