Thanks to new regulations, the imminent spike in postage prices will fall heavily, and unfairly, on people in prison and jail.

by Stephen Raher, February 20, 2021

The dramatic tale of mail ballots during the November 2020 election had many people thinking about the mail for the first time in years. Now, though, as the election fades into the past, the post office isn’t on most people’s minds as much. But there is a huge group of people who can’t simply substitute the latest online communication or financial service for paper mail: incarcerated people and those who communicate with them.

In a time when consumer advocates warn to avoid filing your taxes on paper, people in prison and jail have no alternative. Want to monitor your credit history to guard against identity theft? It takes a few minutes online; unless you’re in prison, in which case you’ll have to mail a paper form to the credit bureaus and hope that the response makes it through the prison mailroom. Need to apply for a state-issued ID, student financial aid, public assistance, or just about anything else? Most often you’ll be directed to a website, but if you’re incarcerated you’ll need to keep turning over proverbial rocks, searching for a paper-based option.

With this general background in mind, let’s turn to a largely-overlooked change that could spell big trouble for users of the mail, particularly for those with low incomes. Under federal law, postal rates are set under a variety of complicated rules, overseen by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). For years, the cost of a first-class stamp has been governed by an inflation-linked price cap: the USPS could seek permission to raise rates each year, but not beyond the rate of consumer inflation. After years of deliberation, the PRC issued a massive ruling in late November, establishing a new system that most experts warn will result in faster-growing postage rates.

Adding insult to injury: Obviously, any price increase is unwelcome news to people who use the mail. But the rationale underpinning the new price structure is a particularly bitter pill for incarcerated consumers. Setting aside some of the more esoteric parts of the PRC’s ruling, the leading justification for new price hikes is the issue of “mail density.”

Mail density works like this: the USPS is required to deliver to more addresses (or “delivery points,” in postal regulatory lingo) each year. As the overall volume of mail declines and the number of delivery points increases, the USPS’s cost to deliver each piece of mail goes up. Given this well-documented dynamic, the PRC decided that stamp prices should be allowed to increase to compensate for this “decline in mail density.”

So, we’re all going to pay more for stamps because of decreasing density–but what delivery point is more dense than a typical prison, where hundreds or thousands of people receive their mail at one address? From a strictly economic view, the new pricing system is logical: the American postal system is based on a theory of uniform rates, where anyone sending a letter pays the same amount, regardless of the path that the letter travels. Under this thinking, declines in density caused by sprawling new suburban developments are appropriately shared by all mailers, even those in densely populated cities or correctional facilities. But as a matter of basic fairness, something is awry. Incarcerated people are not contributing to the USPS’s declining density problem and they have no ability to mitigate increased postage rates by seeking electronic alternatives. But they stand to be the demographic most disadvantaged by the sharp price hikes likely to come later this year.

What does this mean for prices? The mechanics of the new rate procedure are so complicated as to be laughable. For example, the actual amount that stamp prices will increase due to the new density rate authority is determined by the following formula:

The Postal Service's complicated formular for determining postal rate increases

Not being gifted in math, I can’t give you a good explanation of this formula, but experts who study postal economics predict rapid and steep price increases. And the pandemic is making things worse. As explained in the previous section, the basic point of the complicated formula is to allow for greater price increases the more that mail density declines. What happened during the pandemic? Less mail was sent, and thus density took a nosedive.

As explained by the Save the Post Office blog, when the PRC issued its ruling, tentative calculations suggested that the density formula would probably yield a rate hike of 1.3% in 2021. But when the pandemic-depressed mail volume is plugged into the formula, it results in a potential price hike over three times as large (4.5%).

When other potential rate-drivers are taken into account, USPS could seek a mid-year price hike of around 5.5%. Based on the current first-class rate of 55c for a one-ounce letter, a 5.5% increase would be around 3c, but under the USPS’s ill-advised rounding policy (which we strongly opposed), the increase would be rounded up to the nearest five cents, potentially resulting in a new price of 60c to mail a letter. That’s about equal to the average hourly wage earned by incarcerated people in non-prison-industry certified jobs.

Prices go up as quality goes down. To make matters even worse, prices are going up at the same time that mail quality (i.e., speed of delivery) is getting really bad. For this, we can thank Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a crony of the former president whose legendary conflicts of interest remain a stain on his tenure to this very day.

Unsurprisingly, Postmaster General DeJoy is on a seeming mission to destroy the USPS, recently announcing even greater service cutbacks that threaten to make mail even slower and less reliable than it is today.

What can you do about it? Unlike the criminal justice system, where power and decision-making is spread over hundreds of jurisdictions, postal policy is ultimately controlled by one body: Congress. There are currently moves in Congress to address mismanagement of the USPS, but when debating postal reform measures, lawmakers need to hear the unique burdens faced by incarcerated people.

Currently, there are two ways you can tell Congress to act. You can support efforts to remove Postmaster DeJoy, and you can tell your members of Congress to act immediately to improve the USPS finances without extracting more money from incarcerated people and their families. A general hearing on postal reform measures will take place in the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 24. Committee members should keep the needs of incarcerated mailers in mind while crafting legislative proposals. For starters, this should include broad measures to stabilize the cost of sending first-class letters. More targeted reforms could include exempting incarcerated people from the new density-based rate increases, or (ideally) subsidizing postage for people in prison and jail.


New statewide data from the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness underscore the harms of criminalizing homelessness and the destabilizing effects of incarceration.

by Alexi Jones, February 10, 2021

In December, officials in Seattle drew the ire of activists when they decided to sweep a homeless encampment in Cal Anderson park despite warnings from public health officials. Dozens of people experiencing homelessness were displaced and 24 people were arrested just a week before Christmas. Seattle is not alone. At the same time that cities around the country, including Denver and Reno, continue police sweeps of homeless encampments during the pandemic, researchers in Connecticut have compiled recent data showing that this criminalization of homelessness – together with barriers to housing upon re-entry – has created a revolving door between prisons and homeless shelters.

Research has consistently shown a strong link between incarceration and homelessness. Our 2018 report found that formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general public. Other national data shows 50,000 people enter shelters directly from correctional facilities per year.1 And homelessness is a major predictor of involvement with the juvenile justice system, which means that for many youth, the cycle of incarceration and homelessness starts early.

To date, there has been no national data on how many people experiencing homelessness have had prior criminal justice involvement. New data from the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness helps fill this gap. The study was also able to parse how many people experienced homelessness before incarceration versus how many experienced homelessness after release – underscoring both the harms of criminalizing homelessness and the destabilizing effects of incarceration. Above all, the findings illustrate the importance of including stable housing in states’ public safety agendas.

 

The study’s main findings

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) matched data from the 450,000 people who have been admitted to the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC), the state’s joint prison and jail system, and the 17,226 people who used a shelter in their network between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2019, finding that half of the people (8,187) who used homeless shelters were formerly incarcerated. Moreover, they found that 1 in 5 people who used homeless shelters had been released from prison in the past three years. The CCEH network includes 88% of all emergency shelters in the state.

Chart showing that white people are underrepresented, and Black people are overrepresented, among those who have experienced both homelessness and incarceration in Connecticut

The study found stark racial disparities among the population of formerly incarcerated people using homeless shelters. Of the 8,187 formerly incarcerated people experiencing homelessness, 35% were Black, compared to just 10% of the general population in Connecticut.2 This reflects the fact that Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by both incarceration and homelessness, and is in line with our national finding that Black formerly incarcerated people are significantly more likely to experience homelessness than white formerly incarcerated people.

 

The criminalization of homelessness

To get a better picture of those with relatively recent experience with both homelessness and incarceration, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness zeroed in on people who both used homeless shelters in their network and who were released from the Department of Corrections in the past three years (Jan. 2016 to Jan. 2019). They found most formerly incarcerated people (69%) in the sample were homeless before their incarceration. The data also indicates that they were typically incarcerated for relatively minor offenses: 80% of those sentenced were released at the end of their sentence (as opposed to going to a halfway house or to parole supervision), which suggests many served shorter sentences, which in turn are indicative of lower-level offenses. And among those who were held pretrial, 75% were released by the court without bond, also suggesting relatively minor offenses.3

Small pie chart showing that 69% of people who experienced both homelessness and incarceration in Connecticut were homeless prior to incarceration, and 31% became homeless after incarceration These findings reflect the pervasive criminalization of homelessness in Connecticut. As researchers at Yale Law School explain, “Laws in cities throughout Connecticut prohibit a person without a bed from sleeping on a park bench, ban someone without a place to be during the day from standing in a public plaza, and restrict the ability of a person without access to food to ask for money to buy something to eat.” This puts people experiencing homelessness at high risk for arrest and incarceration, even though these “offenses” pose no threat to public safety. It’s both inhumane and counterproductive: Arresting and incarcerating people experiencing homelessness makes it harder for them to secure housing, jobs, and public assistance by saddling them with a criminal record and fines and fees that are impossible for them to pay. It only serves to fuel the revolving door between prisons and homeless shelters.

 

Barriers to successful re-entry

However, over a quarter (28%) of people who had both used the networks’ homeless shelters and been released from the Department of Corrections from Jan. 2016 to Jan. 2019 reported becoming homeless only after their last release from the Department of Corrections. This finding underscores how destabilizing and counterproductive incarceration is, and how little support incarcerated people have once released. Upon incarceration, most people lose their jobs and housing, and it is extremely difficult for people to regain their footing upon release. The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is nearly five times higher than the unemployment rate for the general population in the U.S. Formerly incarcerated people face widespread discrimination in both unemployment and housing, making it extremely difficult to succeed post-release.

Finally, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness conducted an in-depth investigation of formerly incarcerated people experiencing homelessness in the city of New Haven, which offers an even more detailed analysis. Most notably, over half (54%) of formerly incarcerated homeless people in New Haven have been admitted to prison on 6 or more occasions, further illustrating the fruitlessness of using incarceration – or criminal legal responses more broadly – to address people’s underlying needs or to deal with the problem of homelessness. Rather than “rehabilitating” people, incarceration simply makes it harder for people to succeed upon release. Instead of investing in policing and incarcerating people experiencing homelessness, cities and states should instead invest in stable housing, healthcare, and other social services that address people’s unmet needs.

 

Closing the “revolving door”

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness’ data show clearly that responding to homelessness with policing and incarceration is not just immoral, but also ineffective. To “close the revolving door,” CCEH is working with the Connecticut Department of Corrections to launch the DOC’s Re-entry Housing Assistance Program,4 locating housing options before release for individuals they identify as at-risk of becoming homeless. For cases where the DOC can’t find a housing alternative, CCEH’s network of service providers is available to create and implement housing plans, again starting before release.

Other states and cities can follow Connecticut’s lead and stop the revolving door between homelessness and incarceration by creating clear-cut systems to help recently-released individuals find homes, “banning the box” on housing applications to prevent discrimination against people with criminal records, ending the criminalization of homelessness, and expanding social services for the homeless, focusing on “Housing First.”

 

Footnotes

  1. This figure does not include people experiencing homelessness who don’t use shelters or people who enter shelters after a period of instability following incarceration.

     ↩

  2. Black people make up 41% of the incarcerated population in Connecticut.

     ↩

  3. A unique strength of the data set is that the Connecticut Department of Corrections has a joint prison and jail system, so the data set captures even short periods of incarceration for minor offenses that normally wouldn’t be captured in prison admissions data. In most states, people detained pretrial or serving short sentences (commonly of under 1 year) are held in county or municipal jails, while those serving longer sentences are held in state prisons.

     ↩

  4. Among its 2021 legislative priorities, the Connnecticut Coalition to End Homelessness supports the creation of a “reentry housing assistance” line item within the DOC budget and the appropriation of at least $2 million per year to this line item.

     ↩


Several studies show that formerly incarcerated people - and the children of currently incarcerated people - are at especially high risk of experiencing food insecurity.

by Jenny Landon and Alexi Jones, February 10, 2021

Small chart showing that while about 10 percent of the general population experiences food insecurity, nearly 20 percent of formerly incarcerated people do. The COVID-19 pandemic – and the government’s insufficient response in providing economic relief – has led to an enormous increase in food insecurity in this country. At least 54 million people are facing experiencing food insecurity (meaning they don’t have access to healthy food), and past research suggests that formerly incarcerated people, and the children of currently incarcerated people, are at especially high risk. This briefing summarizes and explains this research.

Food insecurity is an often-overlooked consequence of incarceration, and it can’t be separated from the more well-known problems of homelessness and unemployment. While the estimates vary somewhat, researchers consistently find that food insecurity is more common among formerly incarcerated people — and families with an incarcerated parent — than among the general population:

  • In a 2013 survey of recently released individuals in three states, 91% of respondents reported food insecurity, and 37% reported not having eaten for an entire day because they could not afford food.
  • A 2019 study found that 20% of formerly incarcerated people report suffering from food insecurity — double that of the general population — with even higher rates among formerly incarcerated women and Black individuals.
  • Young children who live with their father before his incarceration are three times as likely to experience food insecurity, according to a study focused on the impact of paternal incarceration.
  • Finally, a 2012 study found that the incarceration of either parent increases the likelihood of food insecurity for adults and households with children by up to 15 percentage points.

These last two studies offer further, direct evidence of how incarceration punishes entire families and communities, not just people who are locked up. Most incarcerated people are parents; their absence while incarcerated – and the barriers they face when they come home – have ramifications for their entire families, particularly children. The potentially severe and lifelong consequences of experiencing food insecurity in childhood are among the many injustices visited upon the families and communities most impacted by mass incarceration.

The high levels of food insecurity among formerly incarcerated people also underscores the difficulty of reentry, and the lasting, life-threatening effects of incarceration. Apart from the obvious policy choice of incarcerating fewer people, states and counties must provide more robust support for recently released people. States that still limit access to food programs like SNAP (or food stamps) because of former convictions must immediately abandon this discriminatory practice, and invest in infrastructure so that formerly incarcerated people and food-insecure families have access to transportation, housing, and employment opportunities.


A new report finds little evidence supporting the idea that building new prisons for women will lead to better outcomes, even with gender-responsive and trauma-informed programming.

by Prison Policy Initiative, February 3, 2021

In January, as the United States government prepared to execute Lisa Montgomery, news stories described the horrific sexual and physical abuse Montgomery experienced throughout her childhood and adult life. These accounts are shocking — but devastatingly, not so unusual. Studies suggest that more than half of women in state prisons survived physical and/or sexual abuse prior to their incarceration.

Prison is a horrible place for people struggling with symptoms of past trauma, as well as those with histories of mental illness and substance abuse. Well-meaning policymakers sometimes suggest building “kinder, gentler” prisons that offer needed counseling — and indeed, one such project has recently been proposed for convicted women in Massachusetts — but in practice, prisons themselves are fundamentally in opposition with goals of supportive programming.

In fact, Professor Susan Sered, along with Erica Taft and Cherry Russell, have just published an extensive review of the research on the outcomes of existing, prison-based therapeutic treatments — particularly for women. They conclude that the value gained from prison-based trauma, mental health, and substance abuse interventions are far outweighed by the harms caused by incarceration. Instead, they argue, alternatives outside of prisons that provide trauma-informed support, alongside practical interventions such as housing assistance and health care, are far more beneficial than anything that can be offered in a prison setting.

 

Prison is inherently traumatizing

Incarceration itself is retraumatizing and damaging to mental health. “Prisons are full of trauma-triggers,” Sered and her co-authors write, “such as unexpected noises, sounds of distress from other people, barked orders, pat-downs, strip searches, and looming threats of punishment for breaking any one of myriad rules.” Incarcerated women often experience new traumas and indignities, including the loss of their children and families, their bodily privacy, and their freedom of movement, time, and personal space. Meanwhile, “prison conditions including noise, crowding, lack of privacy, substandard diet, insufficient fresh air, harassment and ongoing threats of violence and punishment are further associated with negative health impacts.”

Even the most well-designed and decorated prison is still a prison, and inherently unconducive to trauma-informed therapeutic programs, where participants are encouraged to acknowledge their trauma and engage in practices that promote recovery and wellness. “Treatment can retraumatize clients when authoritative or coercive methods are used,” the authors explain. “Ideally, trauma-informed treatment should take place in a warm, welcoming and uncrowded space that provides room for a ‘time-out’ option. These conditions are difficult to meet in a prison context.”

 

There is insufficient study of the long-term benefits of prison-based therapy

Prison-based therapy programs show some benefits: The review notes that “a meta-analysis of studies published between 2000 and 2013 identified reduced recidivism rates for women who participated in gender-informed correctional interventions.”

However, the authors also point out that there has been little study of long-term benefits. This is in part due to logistical challenges: It can be difficult to locate and follow up with study participants post-release. Summarizing a study from 2020, they write: “while mental health services in prison can partially protect some women from some of the strains of being in prison, there is little evidence that these services are of much benefit after they leave prison.” They further note that they “could not identify any studies that evaluate program impact in terms of variables such as post-incarceration employment, health or family reunification.”

What’s more, while gender-sensitive prison-based programs may benefit participants in some ways in the short term (a welcome effect in a prison setting), troublingly, at least one cited study suggests that these programs may over-emphasize “individual pathology.” Along the same lines, another study finds that staff often urge incarcerated women to see the error of their ways and “self-improve.” Incarcerated men, meanwhile, are more likely to report more practical supports, such as staff helping them gain real-world job and educational skills.

 

Similar problems plague drug treatment in prisons

Prisons are also inherently difficult places to participate in substance abuse treatment. “The prison environment itself creates added stress which may lead some people to seek psychotropic substances—both prescribed and illicit,” the authors write, noting that many prisons also resist evidence-driven, medication-assisted substance abuse treatment.

To study the results of compulsory drug treatment, the authors point to a 2018 Canadian review of court-mandated drug programs, which found that “forced treatment did not improve outcomes for substance use. Instead, findings showed higher levels of mental duress, homelessness, relapse and overdose among adults after discharge from mandated treatment.” They also quote a 2016 meta-analysis of compulsory drug treatments, which concluded: “Evidence does not, on the whole, suggest improved outcomes related to compulsory treatment approaches, with some studies suggesting potential harms.”

 

Recommendations:

Unfortunately, while there are numerous models for community-based alternatives to incarceration, they generally suffer from a similar lack of rigorous, long-term research as prison-based therapies. Therefore, the authors cannot recommend specific programs.

They do note, however, that studies suggest successful prison alternatives would “set realistic expectations for participants, avoid using threats of punishment to obtain compliance, and refrain from sending participants to prison because of drug use.” Research into the reentry needs of formerly incarcerated women shows that justice-involved women often benefit from support in the areas of economic marginalization and poverty, housing, trauma, and family reunification.

This fits with the recommendations of Sered and her coauthors: They suggest that alternatives-to-prison programs for women provide practical support, including housing assistance, family reunification, help establishing community relationships, health care and substance abuse support, and restorative justice programs. When executed correctly, the authors argue that community-based alternatives could be cost-effective and help keep women out of prison in the first place.


The good news is that jail and prison populations remain lower than they were before COVID-19, but it’s not obvious just how much of that is attributable to additional releases.

by Emily Widra, February 3, 2021

This article was updated on October 21st, 2021 with more recent jail and prison population data. That version should be used instead of this one.

Families and advocates want to know: How many people have been released from prisons and jails specifically because of efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities and surrounding communities? Despite our ability to track overall correctional populations during the pandemic, the answer to this crucial question isn’t clear. Because of the disparate, disjointed nature of our local, state, and federal criminal justice systems, it is always difficult to track the effects of specific reforms, or to determine which policies are driving changes in the overall number of incarcerated people. During the current pandemic, this makes it impossible to pinpoint just how much of the recent population reductions were the result of special efforts to release people due to COVID-19 — as opposed to “normal” releases or changes in incoming admissions. But what is clear is that there are plenty of ways to reduce correctional populations, and that states and local governments are not using these tools to their full potential.

 

Prisons

Even in states where prison populations have dropped, there are still too many people behind bars to accommodate social distancing, effective isolation and quarantine, and increased health care requirements. For example, although California has reduced the state prison population by about 22% in the past 12 months, it has not been enough to prevent large COVID-19 outbreaks in the state’s prisons. In fact, as of January 20th, 2021, California’s prisons were still holding more people than they were designed for, at 103% of their design capacity.

graph showing change in population of 30 state prison systems and the federal prison system Figure 1. Prison population data for 30 states where sufficient population data was readily available from January 2020 to January 2021, either directly from the state Departments of Correction or the Vera Institute of Justice. See our COVID-19 response tracker for more information on many of the most important policy changes that led to these (generally small) reductions in some states. For the population data for these 30 states, see Appendix A.
Sharp-eyed readers may wonder if Connecticut and Vermont are showing larger declines than most other states because those two states have “unified” prison and jail systems, and pretrial populations typically respond to policy changes more quickly than prisons. However, data from both states show that the bulk of their population reduction is coming from within the “sentenced” portion of their populations. (For the Connecticut data, see the Correctional Facility Population Count Report, and for Vermont, see the daily population reports.)

Many states’ prison populations are the lowest they’ve been in decades, but this is not because more people are being released from prisons. The limited data available from a handful of states shows that the number of prison releases did not change much between 2019 and 2020, suggesting that most of the population drops that we’ve seen over the past year are due to reduced prison admissions. (Certainly, reducing the number of people admitted to correctional facilities is critical to reducing the number of people behind bars, but to quickly decarcerate, states should be releasing far more people, too.)

graph showing trends in prison releases and admissions from 2018 to 2020 Figure 2. These four states publish monthly release and admission data for 2018, 2019, and most of 2020. Although we cannot be certain that this analysis is representative of the other 42 state prison systems and the federal Bureau of Prisons, these data do begin to show us a pattern of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: reducing prison admissions, while maintaining the status quo of prison releases. (We’ll be collecting this data going forward and in additional states to build an even more comprehensive picture of how federal and state prison systems have responded to COVID-19.)

graph showing trends in prison releases in 2019 and 2020 Figure 3. These eight states published monthly release data for 2019 and for most of 2020. While not nationally representative, these eight states show that fewer people have been released from these state prisons in response to COVID-19 than in the previous year.

Despite evidence that large-scale releases do not inherently endanger public safety, states have elected to release people from prison on a mostly case-by-case basis, which an October 2020 report from the National Academies described as “procedurally slow and not well suited to crisis situations.”

Thankfully, some states have recognized the inefficiency of case-by-case releases and the necessity of larger-scale releases. For example, in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed bill S2519 in October, which allowed for the early release of people with less than a year left on their sentences.1 A few weeks after the bill was signed, more than 2,000 people were released from New Jersey state prisons on November 4th.2

 

Jails

Jail populations, like prison populations, are lower now than they were pre-pandemic. Initially, many local officials — including sheriffs, prosecutors, and judges — responded quickly to COVID-19 and reduced their jail populations. In a national sample of 429 county jails of varying sizes, most (87%) decreased their populations from March to July, resulting in an average population reduction of 23% across all 429 jails.3 These population reductions came as the result of various policy changes, including police issuing citations in lieu of arrests, prosecutors declining to charge people for “low-level offenses,” courts reducing cash bail amounts, and jail administrators releasing people detained pretrial or those serving short sentences for “nonviolent” offenses.

But the data now tells a different story about the latter part of the pandemic. Since July, 66% of the jails in our sample had population increases, suggesting that the early reforms instituted to mitigate COVID-19 have largely been abandoned. For example, by mid-April, the Philadelphia city jail population reportedly dropped by more than 17% after city police suspended low-level arrests and judges released “certain nonviolent detainees” jailed for “low-level charges.” But on May 1st — as the pandemic raged on — the Philadelphia police force announced that they would resume arrests for property crimes, effectively reversing the earlier reduction efforts. Similarly, on July 10th, the sheriff of Jefferson County (Birmingham), Alabama, announced that the jail would limit admissions to only “violent felons that cannot make bond.”4 That effort was quickly abandoned when the jail resumed normal admission operations just one week later. The increasing jail populations across the country suggest that after the first wave of responses to COVID-19, many local officials have allowed jail admissions to return to business as usual.

graph showing jail population trends from March 2020 to January 2021 Figure 4. Despite the rising national case rate of COVID-19, the number of people held in our sample of 429 county jails across the country has not continued to decrease over the past six months, following early initial reductions. This graph contains aggregated data collected by NYU’s Public Safety Lab and updates a graph in our December 2nd briefing. It Includes all jails where the Lab was able to report data on March 10th and for at least 75% of the days in our research period, which ended Jan. 20, 2021. (The Public Safety Lab is continuing to add more jails to its data collection and data is not available for all facilities for all days.) This graph presents the data as 7-day rolling averages, which smooths out most of the variations caused by individual facilities not reporting population data on particular days. The temporary population drops during the last weeks of May,August, and November are the result of more facilities than usual not being included in the dataset for various reasons, rather than any known policy changes. To see county level data for all 429 jails included in this analysis, see Appendix B.

 

Why is it so hard to identify the cause of population shifts?

Even under normal circumstances, prison and jail populations fluctuate frequently due to a variety of factors, making it difficult to pinpoint what is causing specific changes. In a way, visualizing shifts in the number of people confined is a bit like talking about how much water is in a bathtub that has multiple faucets and multiple drains, each controlled by different people who don’t necessarily communicate with each other. Measuring the depth of the water (or the number of people locked up) is easy, but determining why the water level changes is complicated. The criminal justice system is not so different, in that different agencies affect the number of incoming incarcerated admissions via arrest, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing policies. At the same time, there are many ways that people can leave prison or jail, too — which are also controlled by various agencies — such as release without bail, maxing out a sentence, parole, clemency (including mass clemencies), retroactive sentence reductions by a legislature, compassionate release, or death.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people incarcerated across the country is clearly down, but it is not immediately clear how much of that reduction we can attribute to admission mechanisms, as opposed to release mechanisms. For example, changes to the admission mechanisms that we have seen enacted to reduce jail and prison populations include:

  • Reduced arrests,
  • Fewer prosecutions,
  • Slower — or even suspended — court systems, and
  • Fewer incarcerations for probation and parole violations.

On the other hand, public health officials have emphasized the need to increase the number of people being released from prison and jail. These releases can occur via changes to any number of release mechanisms, including:

  • Reduced pretrial detention,
  • Increased commutations and pardons,
  • Adding good time credits to hasten release dates,
  • Judicial orders for administrative releases, and
  • Releases for people who are:
    • Nearing the end of their sentence in prisons or jails,
    • Serving short sentences for misdemeanors in jails, and
    • Medically vulnerable to COVID-19.

Prisons and jails are notoriously dangerous places during a viral outbreak, and continue to be a major source of a large number of infections in the U.S. The COVID-19 death rate in prisons is three times higher than among the general U.S. population, even when adjusted for age and sex (as the prison population is disproportionately young and male). Since the early days of the pandemic, public health professionals, corrections officials, and criminal justice reform advocates have agreed that decarceration is necessary to protect incarcerated people and the community at large from COVID-19. The best way to decarcerate is to release more people from prisons and jails. Despite this knowledge, state, federal, and local authorities have failed to release people from prisons and jails on a major scale, which continues to put incarcerated people’s lives at risk — and by extension, the lives of everyone in the communities where incarcerated people eventually return, and where correctional staff live and work.

 
 

Footnotes

  1. New Jersey is not included in the above graph of state prison population changes because the New Jersey Department of Correction has not published monthly population data for 2020. However, in an October 2020 press release (prior to the November implementation of bill S2519), Governor Phil Murphy claimed the population in state correctional facilities had “decreased by nearly 3,000 people (16%)” since March.  ↩

  2. Unfortunately, this major victory for public health was immediately undercut by the federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency which quickly arrested 88 people who were released under bill S2519. A spokesperson from ICE claimed that these 88 individuals were “violent offenders or have convictions for serious crimes such as homicide, aggravated assault, drug trafficking and child sexual exploitation.” However, these claims are brought into question when considering that the releases that took place under bill S2519 specifically excluded “people serving time for murder or sexual assault” and those serving time for sexual offenses. Although we did not include ICE facilities in our analysis, there is evidence that ICE detention facilities have a COVID-19 case rate that is up to 13 times higher than that of the general U.S. population.  ↩

  3. Our analysis is based on a subset of the excellent dataset created by the NYU Public Safety Lab Jail Data Initiative which is collecting jail populations for a diverse group of over 1,000 facilities across the country. For each of our analyses of jail and prison populations during the pandemic (including our earlier analyses in May, August, September, and December 2020), we included all jails from this database that had population data available for at least 75% of the days in the period being studied and had data going back to the start of the pandemic on March 10th, 2020. For this January 2021 analysis, we included all 429 jails that had at least 237 days worth of data, representing at least 75% of the days between March 10th, 2020 and January 20th, 2021.  ↩

  4. The news story from Jefferson County does not make clear whether officials are using “violent” to refer to the crime a person is charged with, crimes of which they have already convicted, a label imposed on them by a risk assessment tool, or something else.  ↩

 

Appendix A: State and federal prison populations during COVID‑19

Prison populations for the federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 states where monthly data was readily available for the period from January 2020 to January 2021.

State January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 October 2020 November 2020 December 2020 Most recent Population Data Source
Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date Prison population Date
Alabama 27,146 1/10/20 27,385 2/4/20 27,520 3/28/20 27,321 4/19/20 26,898 5/27/20 26,427 6/26/20 26,235 7/10/20 25,869 8/14/20 25,592 9/21/20 25,343 10/31/20 25,273 11/24/20 24,902 12/31/20 24,731 1/22/21 Department of Corrections’ Inmate Search
Arizona 42,441 1/1/20 42,282 2/29/20 41,984 3/31/20 41,449 4/20/20 41,005 5/31/20 40,151 6/30/20 39,455 7/24/20 39,125 8/21/20 38,865 9/27/20 38,495 10/31/20 38,385 11/19/20 37,822 12/15/20 37,473 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; ADCRR COVID-19 Dashboard
California 117,344 1/1/20 117,432 2/5/20 117,328 3/25/20 112,573 4/30/20 111,072 5/31/20 108,393 6/30/19 101,523 7/31/20 97,266 8/31/20 94,628 9/30/20 94,270 10/31/20t 94,146 11/30/20 92,116 12/31/20 91,353 1/20/21 CDCR Weekly Total Population Reports
Colorado 19,714 12/31/19 19,568 2/29/20 19,357 3/31/20 18,419 4/30/20 17,808 5/31/20 17,441 6/30/20 17,157 7/31/20 16,908 8/31/20 16,673 9/30/20 16,527 10/31/20 16,365 11/31/20 16,090 12/31/20 Department of Corrections’ End-of-Month Inmate Population
Connecticut 12,284 1/1/20 12,385 2/1/20 12,409 3/1/20 11,853 4/1/20 10,973 5/1/20 10,444 6/1/20 9,945 7/1/20 9,645 8/1/20 9,530 9/4/20 9,344 10/8/20 9,350 11/1/20 9,237 12/1/20 9,098 1/21/21 Department of Correction’s Total Population Counts Report
Federal 164,284 1/9/20 163,635 2/20/20 43,895 3/5/20 163,498 4/2/20 157,340 5/7/20 151,066 6/4/20 145,399 7/9/20 143,071 8/6/20 140,970 9/3/20 140,540 10/1/20 139,446 11/5/20 138,776 12/3/20 137,008 1/21/21 Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Population Statistics
Georgia 52,949 1/1/20 53,474 2/21/20 53,247 3/27/20 51,618 4/24/20 50,681 5/29/20 49,575 6/26/20 48,691 7/31/20 48,274 8/21/20 46,814 9/25/20 46,649 10/30/20 45,471 11/27/20 46,219 12/25/20 45,309 1/15/21 GDC Friday Report
Hawaii 4,976 12/31/19 5,050 2/29/20 4,631 3/31/20 4,176 4/30/20 4,236 5/31/20 4,386 6/30/20 4,444 7/31/20 4,092 8/31/20 4,074 9/30/20 4,118 10/31/20 4,123 11/30/20 4,113 12/31/20 4,142 1/18/21 Corrections Division Population Reports
Indiana 26,952 1/1/20 26,875 2/1/20 26,891 3/1/20 26,936 4/1/20 26,418 5/1/20 25,385 7/1/20 25,023 8/1/20 24,513 9/1/20 24,203 10/1/20 24,203 11/1/20 23,978 12/1/20 Indiana DOC Offender Population Report
Iowa 9,282 1/1/20 8,474 2/3/20 8,521 3/28/20 8,486 4/9/20 7,902 5/9/20 7,596 6/19/20 7,555 7/8/20 7,441 8/24/20 7,410 9/17/20 7,415 10/31/20 7,433 11/19/20 7,444 12/2/20 7,500 1/21/20 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections’s Daily Statistics
Kansas 10,011 1/2/20 10,009 2/28/20 10,031 3/31/20 9,758 4/30/20 9,449 5/30/20 8,938 7/31/20 8,813 8/21/20 8,682 9/30/20 8,607 10/31/20 8,597 11/30/20 8,693 1/20/21 Department of Corrections Daily Adult Population Report
Kentucky 23,141 1/1/20 23,157 2/3/20 23,215 3/2/20 23,038 4/1/20 21,111 5/1/20 20,694 6/1/20 20,313 7/1/20 19,793 8/3/20 19,005 9/2/20 19,088 10/1/20 18,917 11/2/20 19,134 12/1/20 18,678 1/13/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections Daily Count Sheet
Maine 2,205 1/1/20 2,123 5/1/20 1,798 7/1/20 1,793 8/24/20 1,786 9/4/20 1,763 10/5/20 1,756 11/16/20 1,688 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections’ Population Report
Massachusetts 8,302 1/6/20 8,303 2/3/20 8,322 3/2/20 8,083 4/6/20 7,701 5/4/20 7,523 6/1/20 7,324 7/6/20 7,308 8/3/20 7,211 9/7/20 7,130 10/6/20 7,066 11/2/20 6,978 12/7/20 6,791 1/18/21 Department of Correction’s Weekly Inmate Count 2020 and 2021.
Minnesota 9,381 1/1/20 8,857 3/1/20 8,816 4/2/20 8,174 5/28/20 7,962 6/25/20 7,738 7/30/20 7,599 8/24/20 7,519 9/28/20 7,541 10/26/20 7,407 11/26/21 7,328 12/31/20 7,255 1/11/21 Department of Corrections’ Adult Prison Population Summary; Department of Correction COVID-19 Updates
Mississippi 19,147 1/1/20 19,031 2/1/20 18,886 3/1/20 17,794 4/1/20 18,045 5/1/20 17,651 6/1/20 17,448 7/1/20 17,390 8/1/20 17,310 8/31/20 17,274 10/1/20 17,224 11/1/20 17,118 12/1/20 17,052 1/12/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Correction Daily Inmate Population
Montana 2,759 1/1/20 2,777 3/1/20 2,692 5/1/20 2,582 6/1/20 2,542 7/1/20 2,520 8/1/20 2,533 9/4/20 2,491 10/7/20 2,473 11/1/20 2,433 12/1/20 2,431 1/20/21 Department of Corrections Daily Population Report
Nevada 12,911 1/4/20 12,395 2/2/20 12,384 3/8/20 12,474 5/18/20 11,910 6/7/20 12,266 7/7/20 11,696 8/2/20 11,982 9/7/20 11,756 10/6/20 11,731 10/31/20 11,222 12/7/21 11,134 12/27/20 Department of Correction Weekly Fact Sheets
New Hampshire 2,464 1/1/20 2,472 2/1/20 2,472 3/1/20 2,433 4/1/20 2,359 5/1/20 2,283 6/1/20 2,256 7/1/20 2,228 8/1/20 2,209 9/1/20 2,203 10/1/20 2,184 11/1/20 2,155 12/1/20 Department of Corrections’ Monthly Facility Population Summary Report
North Carolina 34,510 1/1/20 34,919 2/16/20 34,953 3/15/20 34,951 4/8/20 32,795 5/1/20 31,972 6/23/20 32,033 7/27/20 31,704 8/24/20 30,970 9/30/20 30,742 10/29/20 30,267 11/30/20 29,037 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Public Safety Statistics: Offender Population
North Dakota 1,794 1/1/20 1,748 2/1/20 1,731 3/1/20 1,530 4/1/20 1,461 5/1/20 1,313 6/1/20 1,318 7/1/20 1,332 8/1/20 1,300 9/1/20 1,316 10/1/20 1,350 11/1/20 1,372 12/1/20 1,422 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation Operational Capacity Daily Count
Ohio 48,599 1/7/20 48,668 2/4/20 48,795 3/3/20 44,967 4/7/20 47,529 5/5/20 46,687 6/2/20 45,632 7/7/20 45,077 8/4/20 44,594 9/1/20 44,644 10/6/20 44,471 11/3/20 44,145 12/1/20 43,695 1/5/21 Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Weekly Population Count Reports
Oklahoma 24,749 1/6/20 25,039 2/3/20 24,993 3/2/20 24,562 4/6/20 23,663 5/4/20 23,162 6/1/20 22,249 7/20/20 22,157 8/3/20 21,835 9/21/20 21,747 10/5/20 21,689 11/2/20 21,778 12/7/20 21,648 1/19/21 Department of Corrections Weekly Count
Pennsylvania 47,590 12/31/19 47,382 2/29/20 46,882 3/31/20 45,654 30-Apr 44,556 5/31/20 43,490 6/30/20 42,826 7/31/20 42,325 8/31/20 41,830 9/30/20 41,531 10/31/20 41,191 11/30/20 40,766 12/31/20 39,710 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections Monthly Population Reports
South Carolina 18,106 1/1/20 18,074 2/1/20 18,028 3/1/20 18,229 4/1/20 17,687 5/1/20 17,455 6/1/20 16,836 7/12/20 16,361 8/1/20 16,019 9/4/20 15,992 10/8/20 15,957 11/19/20 16,013 12/1/20 15,728 1/22/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Inmate and Bed Counts of SCDC Institutions
South Dakota 3,804 12/31/19 3,833 2/28/20 3,794 3/31/20 3,654 4/30/20 3,580 5/31/20 3,478 6/30/20 3,323 9/30/20 3,295 10/31/20 3,288 11/30/20 3,225 12/31/20 Department of Corrections’ FY 2020 Adult Dashboard and Adult Corrections Monthly Population Reports
Tennessee 21,791 Jan. 2020 ADP 21,813 Feb. 2020 ADP 21,724 March 2020 ADP 21,247 April 2020 ADP 20,690 May 2020 ADP 20,159 June 2020 ADP 19,645 July 2020 ADP 19,499 Aug. 2020 ADP 19,327 Sept. 2020 ADP 19,506 Oct. 2020 ADP 19,741 Nov. 2020 ADP 19,715 Dec. 2020 ADP Department of Correction Monthly Bed Space and Capacity Reports
Vermont 1,608 1/1/20 1,639 3/13/20 1,385 4/27/20 1,387 5/28/20 1,409 6/25/20 1,407 7/27/20 1,410 8/21/20 1,413 9/30/20 1,369 10/31/20 1,369 11/18/20 1,292 12/31/20 1,281 1/21/21 Vera’s People in Prison, 2019; Department of Corrections Past Daily Population Data
Virginia 29,233 Jan. 2020 ADP 29,208 Feb. 2020 ADP 29,136 March 2020 ADP 28,595 April 2020 ADP 27,871 May 2020 ADP 27,294 June 2020 ADP 26,749 July 2020 ADP 26,190 Aug. 2020 ADP 25,659 Sept. 2020 ADP 25,156 Oct. 2020 ADP 24,731 Nov. 2020 ADP Department of Corrections Monthly Offender Population Reports
Washington 18,998 Jan. 2020 ADP 19,151 Feb. 2020 ADP 18,797 March 2020 ADP 17,587 April 2020 ADP 16,906 May 2020 ADP 16,703 June 2020 ADP 16,464 July 2020 ADP 16,381 Aug. 2020 ADP 16,183 Sept. 2020 ADP 16,081 Oct. 2020 ADP 15,968 Nov. 2020 ADP Department of Corrections Average Daily Population Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021
Wisconsin 23,672 1/3/20 23,471 2/28/20 23,288 3/27/20 22,506 4/24/20 21,819 5/29/20 21,444 6/26/20 21,390 7/24/20 21,337 8/21/20 21,098 9/25/20 20,867 10/30/20 20,693 11/13/20 20,155 12/25/21 19,976 1/15/21 Department of Corrections Weekly Population Reports

 

Appendix B: County jail populations during COVID-19

This table shows the jail populations for 429 county jails where data was available where data was available for March 10th (the day the pandemic was declared) and for 75% of the days between March 10th, 2020 and January 20th, 2021. (This table is a subset of the population data available for over 1,000 local jails from the NYU Public Safety Lab Jail Data Initiative.)

County State March population July population Most recent population Percent change from March to July Percent change from July to the most recent date Net percent change since March March date July date Most recent date
Autauga Ala. 171 169 187 -1% 11% 9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Blount Ala. 125 117 156 -6% 33% 25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Chambers Ala. 134 68 2 -49% -97% -99% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cherokee Ala. 110 66 91 -40% 38% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clay Ala. 38 34 34 -11% 0% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cleburne Ala. 84 61 60 -27% -2% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Coffee Ala. 127 76 99 -40% 30% -22% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Coosa Ala. 27 32 22 19% -31% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dale Ala. 74 69 54 -7% -22% -27% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
DeKalb Ala. 167 164 173 -2% 5% 4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Franklin Ala. 121 87 79 -28% -9% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Houston Ala. 393 324 377 -18% 16% -4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Ala. 177 183 217 3% 19% 23% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion Ala. 131 139 151 6% 9% 15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Morgan Ala. 615 554 574 -10% 4% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pickens Ala. 106 117 119 10% 2% 12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pike Ala. 62 34 56 -45% 65% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Randolph Ala. 64 49 66 -23% 35% 3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St Clair Ala. 219 229 188 5% -18% -14% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Talladega Ala. 301 224 305 -26% 36% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington Ala. 58 38 32 -34% -16% -45% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Baxter Ark. 120 86 120 -28% 40% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Boone Ark. 103 74 103 -28% 39% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Columbia Ark. 78 28 48 -64% 71% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Crawford Ark. 215 166 232 -23% 40% 8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cross Ark. 69 61 52 -12% -15% -25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Drew Ark. 63 34 45 -46% 32% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Faulkner Ark. 466 218 367 -53% 68% -21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Franklin Ark. 36 24 86 -33% 258% 139% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hempstead Ark. 68 53 63 -22% 19% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Howard Ark. 41 15 23 -63% 53% -44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jefferson Ark. 293 173 180 -41% 4% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Johnson Ark. 63 37 75 -41% 103% 19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion Ark. 42 22 74 -48% 236% 76% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Monroe Ark. 16 12 12 -25% 0% -25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Nevada Ark. 55 33 51 -40% 55% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Poinsett Ark. 80 49 71 -39% 45% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pope Ark. 193 134 163 -31% 22% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Saline Ark. 233 131 177 -44% 35% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St Francis Ark. 71 35 30 -51% -14% -58% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Stone Ark. 36 37 33 3% -11% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Union Ark. 199 137 158 -31% 15% -21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Van Buren Ark. 78 29 34 -63% 17% -56% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington Ark. 678 405 572 -40% 41% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
White Ark. 277 80 210 -71% 163% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Yavapai Ariz. 537 448 468 -17% 4% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Yuma Ariz. 427 366 460 -14% 26% 8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
El Dorado Calif. 383 324 332 -15% 2% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Siskiyou Calif. 91 80 69 -12% -14% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Stanislaus Calif. 1343 1043 1165 -22% 12% -13% 3/10/20 7/13/20* 1/20/21
Yuba Calif. 383 219 229 -43% 5% -40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Arapahoe Colo. 1123 681 813 -39% 19% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bent Colo. 55 31 63 -44% 103% 15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Boulder Colo. 647 410 390 -37% -5% -40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Douglas Colo. 339 216 257 -36% 19% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jefferson Colo. 1258 642 775 -49% 21% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pueblo Colo. 643 388 409 -40% 5% -36% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Alachua Fla. 729 669 806 -8% 20% 11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Broward Fla. 1706 1580 1711 -7% 8% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clay Fla. 418 437 423 5% -3% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
DeSoto Fla. 147 161 161 10% 0% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Flagler Fla. 203 175 200 -14% 14% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lake Fla. 18 10 26 -44% 160% 44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Monroe Fla. 510 394 460 -23% 17% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Nassau Fla. 236 172 231 -27% 34% -2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Okeechobee Fla. 256 249 283 -3% 14% 11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sarasota Fla. 866 779 874 -10% 12% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St Lucie Fla. 1303 1218 1323 -7% 9% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Walton Fla. 435 405 442 -7% 9% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bartow Ga. 671 531 589 -21% 11% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Berrien Ga. 96 69 80 -28% 16% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Brantley Ga. 122 124 104 2% -16% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bulloch Ga. 343 254 320 -26% 26% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Burke Ga. 106 93 111 -12% 19% 5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Camden Ga. 112 132 137 18% 4% 22% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Carroll Ga. 441 302 383 -32% 27% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Catoosa Ga. 228 129 208 -43% 61% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Columbia Ga. 276 182 204 -34% 12% -26% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Coweta Ga. 412 247 333 -40% 35% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Decatur Ga. 116 117 143 1% 22% 23% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dodge Ga. 123 116 121 -6% 4% -2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dougherty Ga. 579 414 528 -28% 28% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Douglas Ga. 681 344 369 -49% 7% -46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Effingham Ga. 236 142 153 -40% 8% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Elbert Ga. 95 48 65 -49% 35% -32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Fayette Ga. 205 127 190 -38% 50% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Floyd Ga. 639 471 525 -26% 11% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Gordon Ga. 290 239 268 -18% 12% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Habersham Ga. 162 114 132 -30% 16% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Haralson Ga. 184 116 191 -37% 65% 4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Ga. 143 111 186 -22% 68% 30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lamar Ga. 58 38 47 -34% 24% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Laurens Ga. 337 285 292 -15% 2% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Liberty Ga. 209 176 198 -16% 13% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Monroe Ga. 128 102 143 -20% 40% 12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Polk Ga. 179 156 106 -13% -32% -41% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Rabun Ga. 108 60 71 -44% 18% -34% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Richmond Ga. 1021 891 973 -13% 9% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Spalding Ga. 386 260 349 -33% 34% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sumter Ga. 157 129 148 -18% 15% -6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tattnall Ga. 87 36 76 -59% 111% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Turner Ga. 67 61 48 -9% -21% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Union Ga. 49 39 49 -20% 26% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Upson Ga. 103 59 93 -43% 58% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ware Ga. 419 340 442 -19% 30% 5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington Ga. 78 76 90 -3% 18% 15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Whitfield Ga. 484 336 424 -31% 26% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Worth Ga. 69 85 72 23% -15% 4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Buena Vista Iowa 22 7 14 -68% 100% -36% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cerro Gordo Iowa 68 39 48 -43% 23% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clinton Iowa 59 35 61 -41% 74% 3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dallas Iowa 27 36 35 33% -3% 30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dickinson Iowa 13 7 6 -46% -14% -54% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hardin Iowa 84 79 64 -6% -19% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ida Iowa 7 1 5 -86% 400% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lyon Iowa 14 9 4 -36% -56% -71% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Plymouth Iowa 41 28 0 -32% -100% -100% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Polk Iowa 885 542 726 -39% 34% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/5/21
Story Iowa 70 25 68 -64% 172% -3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Worth Iowa 8 1 2 -88% 100% -75% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Blaine Idaho 64 50 13 -22% -74% -80% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bonneville Idaho 392 275 244 -30% -11% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Canyon Idaho 445 383 355 -14% -7% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Nez Perce Idaho 128 79 86 -38% 9% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Power Idaho 14 13 5 -7% -62% -64% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington Idaho 40 39 33 -3% -15% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kendall Ill. 156 137 146 -12% 7% -6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Macon Ill. 300 261 302 -13% 16% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Moultrie Ill. 24 28 36 17% 29% 50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Randolph Ill. 25 24 19 -4% -21% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Will Ill. 687 580 609 -16% 5% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Woodford Ill. 52 56 72 8% 29% 38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clinton Ind. 151 119 158 -21% 33% 5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/4/21
Hamilton Ind. 294 227 291 -23% 28% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Ind. 249 173 191 -31% 10% -23% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tippecanoe Ind. 508 426 454 -16% 7% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Brown Kan. 12 14 18 17% 29% 50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cherokee Kan. 81 44 78 -46% 77% -4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Coffey Kan. 28 20 0 -29% -100% -100% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Crawford Kan. 74 49 66 -34% 35% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dickinson Kan. 20 16 4 -20% -75% -80% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Doniphan Kan. 9 8 3 -11% -63% -67% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Finney Kan. 95 88 58 -7% -34% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Geary Kan. 100 77 84 -23% 9% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Kan. 82 55 67 -33% 22% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jefferson Kan. 28 32 16 14% -50% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pratt Kan. 22 11 10 -50% -9% -55% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Rooks Kan. 18 8 9 -56% 13% -50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sherman Kan. 18 27 17 50% -37% -6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sumner Kan. 142 43 101 -70% 135% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Thomas Kan. 14 9 10 -36% 11% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Trego Kan. 11 3 6 -73% 100% -45% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wabaunsee Kan. 9 5 5 -44% 0% -44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Woodson Kan. 9 8 5 -11% -38% -44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Boone Ky. 453 370 467 -18% 26% 3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Christian Ky. 768 522 602 -32% 15% -22% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Letcher Ky. 108 92 98 -15% 7% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Todd Ky. 135 81 115 -40% 42% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Allen La. 102 62 58 -39% -6% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Assumption La. 101 94 133 -7% 41% 32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Avoyelles La. 424 332 301 -22% -9% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Beauregard La. 161 137 165 -15% 20% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bienville La. 41 29 22 -29% -24% -46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bogalusa City La. 18 14 15 -22% 7% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Caldwell La. 610 502 572 -18% 14% -6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cameron La. 27 20 13 -26% -35% -52% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Catahoula La. 72 47 52 -35% 11% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Claiborne La. 575 465 400 -19% -14% -30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
East Feliciana La. 244 215 233 -12% 8% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Evangeline La. 74 51 59 -31% 16% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Franklin La. 815 680 808 -17% 19% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hammond City La. 14 11 9 -21% -18% -36% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Iberia La. 403 326 360 -19% 10% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Iberville La. 106 111 117 5% 5% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson La. 131 120 0 -8% -100% -100% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jefferson Davis La. 159 70 104 -56% 49% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
LaSalle La. 73 58 80 -21% 38% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lafayette La. 990 527 537 -47% 2% -46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lafourche La. 458 315 326 -31% 3% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Madison La. 35 42 77 20% 83% 120% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Morehouse La. 464 504 432 9% -14% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Oakdale La. 1 1 1 0% 0% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pointe Coupee La. 98 79 78 -19% -1% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Red River La. 64 57 55 -11% -4% -14% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Richland La. 751 583 678 -22% 16% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sabine La. 203 169 185 -17% 9% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Shreveport La. 63 12 26 -81% 117% -59% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St Charles La. 458 417 406 -9% -3% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St James La. 68 39 55 -43% 41% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St John La. 146 122 74 -16% -39% -49% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
St Mary La. 223 165 184 -26% 12% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sulphur La. 11 17 14 55% -18% 27% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tangipahoa La. 572 465 573 -19% 23% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tensas La. 18 19 15 6% -21% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Terrebonne La. 645 502 536 -22% 7% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Vermilion La. 146 134 160 -8% 19% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Vernon La. 131 101 121 -23% 20% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ville Platte La. 16 6 12 -63% 100% -25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington La. 163 138 175 -15% 27% 7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Webster La. 627 550 583 -12% 6% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
West Baton Rouge La. 320 251 262 -22% 4% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
West Feliciana La. 25 15 116 -40% 673% 364% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Winnfield La. 24 20 4 -17% -80% -83% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Worcester Mass. 766 465 515 -39% 11% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Allegany Md. 189 141 125 -25% -11% -34% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Prince Georges Md. 884 749 976 -15% 30% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cumberland Maine 349 299 306 -14% 2% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wayne Mich. 2086 2157 3041 3% 41% 46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Beltrami Minn. 113 91 86 -19% -5% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Blue Earth Minn. 114 68 65 -40% -4% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Carlton Minn. 33 14 23 -58% 64% -30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Chisago Minn. 61 25 35 -59% 40% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clay Minn. 117 69 92 -41% 33% -21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clearwater Minn. 17 12 13 -29% 8% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Crow Wing Minn. 155 96 99 -38% 3% -36% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Fillmore Minn. 7 10 2 43% -80% -71% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hubbard Minn. 63 40 53 -37% 33% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Isanti Minn. 57 31 25 -46% -19% -56% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kanabec Minn. 45 18 14 -60% -22% -69% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kandiyohi Minn. 91 79 46 -13% -42% -49% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lac Qui Parle Minn. 4 5 4 25% -20% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Le Sueur Minn. 23 12 15 -48% 25% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
McLeod Minn. 36 22 24 -39% 9% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Mille Lacs Minn. 79 51 36 -35% -29% -54% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Morrison Minn. 31 20 24 -35% 20% -23% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Mower Minn. 79 57 51 -28% -11% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 11/13/20
Nicollet Minn. 26 12 11 -54% -8% -58% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pennington Minn. 34 31 43 -9% 39% 26% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pipestone Minn. 14 10 9 -29% -10% -36% 3/10/20 6/23/20* 1/20/21
Redwood Minn. 12 13 16 8% 23% 33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Renville Minn. 39 15 19 -62% 27% -51% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Roseau Minn. 21 10 9 -52% -10% -57% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Scott Minn. 140 57 96 -59% 68% -31% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sherburne Minn. 307 259 228 -16% -12% -26% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sibley Minn. 9 4 8 -56% 100% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Swift Minn. 4 4 4 0% 0% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Todd Minn. 21 9 15 -57% 67% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Winona Minn. 30 22 20 -27% -9% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wright Minn. 182 91 151 -50% 66% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Yellow Medicine Minn. 15 13 9 -13% -31% -40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Barry Mo. 45 44 57 -2% 30% 27% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Benton Mo. 35 20 30 -43% 50% -14% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Boone Mo. 252 202 254 -20% 26% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Buchanan Mo. 217 165 202 -24% 22% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cape Girardeau Mo. 148 151 203 2% 34% 37% 3/10/20 6/11/20* 1/20/21
Clay Mo. 300 215 197 -28% -8% -34% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Mo. 839 697 770 -17% 10% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jasper Mo. 200 168 190 -16% 13% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Johnson Mo. 202 86 120 -57% 40% -41% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Joplin Mo. 56 28 45 -50% 61% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lawrence Mo. 77 76 73 -1% -4% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lewis Mo. 8 7 13 -13% 86% 63% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion Mo. 79 58 79 -27% 36% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Morgan Mo. 79 63 122 -20% 94% 54% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Nodaway Mo. 12 10 18 -17% 80% 50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Stone Mo. 65 69 39 6% -43% -40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Adams Miss. 76 78 72 3% -8% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clay Miss. 68 51 69 -25% 35% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Miss. 338 370 359 9% -3% 6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jasper Miss. 30 24 21 -20% -13% -30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kemper Miss. 380 369 338 -3% -8% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lee Miss. 194 201 250 4% 24% 29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tunica Miss. 27 23 22 -15% -4% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Broadwater Mont. 47 32 42 -32% 31% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lewis and Clark Mont. 102 109 104 7% -5% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ravalli Mont. 41 47 50 15% 6% 22% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Rosebud Mont. 11 10 10 -9% 0% -9% 3/10/20 7/13/20* 1/20/21
Valley Mont. 40 28 21 -30% -25% -48% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Alamance N.C. 361 217 239 -40% 10% -34% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Anson N.C. 49 45 49 -8% 9% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Brunswick N.C. 244 163 218 -33% 34% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Burke N.C. 133 118 112 -11% -5% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cabarrus N.C. 323 195 195 -40% 0% -40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Carteret N.C. 165 109 200 -34% 83% 21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Catawba N.C. 302 216 215 -28% 0% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cleveland N.C. 324 184 218 -43% 18% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Davidson N.C. 340 207 229 -39% 11% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Guilford N.C. 1051 780 719 -26% -8% -32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lee N.C. 119 93 109 -22% 17% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lincoln N.C. 148 69 102 -53% 48% -31% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Moore N.C. 138 105 142 -24% 35% 3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
New Hanover N.C. 444 358 402 -19% 12% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pender N.C. 88 71 79 -19% 11% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Randolph N.C. 255 201 213 -21% 6% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Richmond N.C. 114 77 77 -32% 0% -32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Rowan N.C. 341 236 245 -31% 4% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sampson N.C. 253 165 176 -35% 7% -30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Stanly N.C. 156 96 132 -38% 38% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Transylvania N.C. 77 44 35 -43% -20% -55% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wake N.C. 1246 1054 1141 -15% 8% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington N.C. 459 308 285 -33% -7% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Stutsman N.D. 47 35 42 -26% 20% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Williams N.D. 90 115 108 28% -6% 20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hall Neb. 275 206 193 -25% -6% -30% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lancaster Neb. 625 467 592 -25% 27% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lincoln Neb. 117 108 105 -8% -3% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Burlington N.J. 375 263 372 -30% 41% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 12/3/21
Cumberland N.J. 337 251 285 -26% 14% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hunterdon N.J. 46 27 36 -41% 33% -22% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ocean N.J. 326 253 287 -22% 13% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sussex N.J. 75 42 59 -44% 40% -21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bernalillo N.M. 1680 1343 1266 -20% -6% -25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 12/6/20
Curry N.M. 183 158 155 -14% -2% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hobbs N.M. 11 21 18 91% -14% 64% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lea N.M. 234 132 139 -44% 5% -41% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
San Juan N.M. 508 318 442 -37% 39% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Monroe N.Y. 766 596 735 -22% 23% -4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clinton Ohio 80 55 41 -31% -25% -49% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Delaware Ohio 233 164 130 -30% -21% -44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Erie Ohio 129 79 86 -39% 9% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Franklin Ohio 2002 1527 1638 -24% 7% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Guernsey Ohio 105 89 80 -15% -10% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hamilton Ohio 1499 1124 1349 -25% 20% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Morrow Ohio 104 59 52 -43% -12% -50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pickaway Ohio 119 116 85 -3% -27% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wood Ohio 169 98 140 -42% 43% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Comanche Okla. 357 273 303 -24% 11% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Creek Okla. 225 144 229 -36% 59% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Garvin Okla. 67 57 67 -15% 18% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Mayes Okla. 77 97 79 26% -19% 3% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
McClain Okla. 96 64 71 -33% 11% -26% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Okmulgee Okla. 174 212 144 22% -32% -17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pottawatomie Okla. 203 191 215 -6% 13% 6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Baker Ore. 32 14 22 -56% 57% -31% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clackamas Ore. 427 186 232 -56% 25% -46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clatsop Ore. 56 43 52 -23% 21% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Douglas Ore. 200 123 127 -39% 3% -37% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Harney Ore. 8 3 7 -63% 133% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jackson Ore. 321 260 258 -19% -1% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Josephine Ore. 185 154 100 -17% -35% -46% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Klamath Ore. 136 68 78 -50% 15% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lincoln Ore. 161 77 99 -52% 29% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion Ore. 420 277 311 -34% 12% -26% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion Work Center Ore. 90 39 42 -57% 8% -53% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Multnomah Ore. 1118 659 803 -41% 22% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Polk Ore. 109 63 66 -42% 5% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wasco Ore. 132 65 74 -51% 14% -44% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Washington Ore. 874 540 462 -38% -14% -47% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Yamhill Ore. 166 62 94 -63% 52% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cumberland Pa. 409 230 236 -44% 3% -42% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Dauphin Pa. 1110 867 1003 -22% 16% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lancaster Pa. 786 674 620 -14% -8% -21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Anderson City S.C. 95 84 101 -12% 20% 6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Berkeley S.C. 438 297 396 -32% 33% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cherokee S.C. 357 265 319 -26% 20% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Darlington S.C. 161 128 177 -20% 38% 10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kershaw S.C. 80 86 94 8% 9% 18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Laurens S.C. 226 162 183 -28% 13% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lexington S.C. 498 312 444 -37% 42% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Marion S.C. 66 55 87 -17% 58% 32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Pickens S.C. 302 226 221 -25% -2% -27% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sumter S.C. 309 266 287 -14% 8% -7% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
York Prison S.C. 61 7 27 -89% 286% -56% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clay S.D. 12 14 19 17% 36% 58% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Blount Tenn. 534 472 468 -12% -1% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Macon Tenn. 300 262 302 -13% 15% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Polk Tenn. 181 154 159 -15% 3% -12% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Shelby Tenn. 1807 1398 1225 -23% -12% -32% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wayne Tenn. 151 122 128 -19% 5% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Archer Texas 26 30 24 15% -20% -8% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Bell Texas 859 772 1041 -10% 35% 21% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Brown Texas 161 152 162 -6% 7% 1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Calhoun Texas 76 88 88 16% 0% 16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Cochran Texas 12 13 12 8% -8% 0% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Coleman Texas 33 30 38 -9% 27% 15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
DeWitt Texas 81 87 77 7% -11% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ellis Texas 375 301 372 -20% 24% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Erath Texas 79 64 68 -19% 6% -14% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Galveston Texas 991 845 983 -15% 16% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Hopkins Texas 159 185 166 16% -10% 4% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jim Wells Texas 61 56 55 -8% -2% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lavaca Texas 25 20 11 -20% -45% -56% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Liberty Texas 240 273 245 14% -10% 2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lubbock Texas 1242 1279 1218 3% -5% -2% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Milam Texas 137 141 159 3% 13% 16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Parmer Texas 28 22 21 -21% -5% -25% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Polk Texas 184 160 205 -13% 28% 11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Randall Texas 413 381 390 -8% 2% -6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Robertson Texas 43 36 60 -16% 67% 40% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Rockwall Texas 220 221 185 0% -16% -16% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Shelby Texas 37 39 0 5% -100% -100% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Terry Texas 83 89 92 7% 3% 11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Titus Texas 133 94 76 -29% -19% -43% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Tom Green Texas 392 420 441 7% 5% 13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Wharton Texas 145 103 103 -29% 0% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Salt Lake Utah 2138 1186 1439 -45% 21% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sanpete Utah 13 14 9 8% -36% -31% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Danville Va. 363 320 312 -12% -3% -14% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Middle Peninsula Va. 169 162 160 -4% -1% -5% 3/10/20 7/25/20* 1/20/21
Middle River Va. 900 729 852 -19% 17% -5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Norfolk Va. 935 684 981 -27% 43% 5% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Riverside Va. 1360 1144 1242 -16% 9% -9% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Roanoke Va. 173 146 172 -16% 18% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Virginia Beach Va. 1509 1142 1306 -24% 14% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/13/21
Western Virginia Va. 944 746 806 -21% 8% -15% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Chelan Wash. 190 156 154 -18% -1% -19% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clallam Forks Wash. 17 10 11 -41% 10% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Clark Wash. 655 422 428 -36% 1% -35% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Columbia Wash. 6 10 7 67% -30% 17% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Grays Harbor Wash. 177 140 125 -21% -11% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Grays Harbor Aberdeen Wash. 20 14 6 -30% -57% -70% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Grays Harbor Hoquiam Wash. 31 27 19 -13% -30% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Island Wash. 68 44 48 -35% 9% -29% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Jefferson Wash. 28 22 17 -21% -23% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
King Issaquah Wash. 56 33 29 -41% -12% -48% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Kitsap Wash. 379 233 277 -39% 19% -27% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lewis Wash. 191 168 153 -12% -9% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Okanogan Wash. 159 90 99 -43% 10% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Skagit Wash. 275 154 170 -44% 10% -38% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Skamania Wash. 24 22 12 -8% -45% -50% 3/10/20 7/6/20 12/29/20
Snohomish Wash. 743 440 454 -41% 3% -39% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Snohomish Lynnwood Wash. 49 9 15 -82% 67% -69% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Snohomish Marysville Wash. 35 10 5 -71% -50% -86% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Thurston Olympia Wash. 22 13 10 -41% -23% -55% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Walla Walla Wash. 83 74 75 -11% 1% -10% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Whatcom Wash. 292 205 223 -30% 9% -24% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Whitman Wash. 31 18 33 -42% 83% 6% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Yakima Wash. 871 444 585 -49% 32% -33% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Brown Wis. 699 586 692 -16% 18% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Douglas Wis. 156 113 155 -28% 37% -1% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Eau Claire Wis. 273 190 197 -30% 4% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
La Crosse Wis. 151 96 96 -36% 0% -36% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Lincoln Wis. 104 77 90 -26% 17% -13% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Manitowoc Wis. 204 178 146 -13% -18% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Milwaukee Wis. 1920 1506 1538 -22% 2% -20% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Ozaukee Wis. 195 160 160 -18% 0% -18% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Racine Wis. 753 578 672 -23% 16% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sawyer Wis. 114 87 82 -24% -6% -28% 3/10/20 7/6/20 1/20/21
Sheboygan Wis. 347 329 310 -5% -6% -11% 3/10/20 7/6/20 12/29/20

*Some jails did not have population data in the NYU database for the first Monday in July. We used the population for the closest date available for those jails.



Instead of releasing more people to the safety of their homes, parole boards in many states held fewer hearings and granted fewer approvals during the ongoing, deadly pandemic

by Tiana Herring, February 3, 2021

Prisons have had 10 months to take measures to reduce their populations and save lives amidst the ongoing pandemic. Yet our comparison of 13 states’ parole grant rates from 2019 and 2020 reveals that many have failed to utilize parole as a mechanism for releasing more people to the safety of their homes. In over half of the states we studied—Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina – between 2019 and 2020, there was either no change or a decrease in parole grant rates (that is, the percentage of parole hearings that resulted in approvals).

Granting parole to more people should be an obvious decarceration tool for correctional systems, during both the pandemic and more ordinary times. Since parole is a preexisting system, it can be used to reduce prison populations without requiring any new laws, executive orders, or commutations. And since anyone going before the parole board has already completed their court-ordered minimum sentences, it would make sense for boards to operate with a presumption of release.1 But only 34 states even offer discretionary parole, and those that do are generally not set up to help people earn release. Parole boards often choose to deny the majority of those who appear before them.

chart showing percent change in parole hearings, parole grant rates, the number of people approved for releaseOf the 34 states with discretionary parole, we were able to find parole data for both 2019 and 2020 for these 13 states. Four states – Alabama, Hawaii, Iowa, and New Jersey – report their parole data by the fiscal year instead of the calendar year. Thus, the impact of the pandemic on parole releases may appear less extreme in these four states. (Fiscal Year 2020 data from Alabama reflects hearings held between Oct 1, 2019 and Sept 1, 2020, while Fiscal Year 2020 data in the other three states reflects hearings held between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.) We’ve still included these states, however, as they capture early parole responses to the pandemic.

We also found that, with the exception of Oklahoma and Iowa, parole boards held fewer hearings in 2020 than in 2019, meaning fewer people had opportunities to be granted parole. This may be in part due to boards being slow or unwilling to adapt to using technology during the pandemic, and instead postponing hearings for months. Due to the combined factors of fewer hearings and failures to increase grant rates, only four of the 13 states – Hawaii, Iowa, New Jersey, and South Dakota – actually approved more people for parole in 2020 than in 2019.

Denying people parole during a pandemic only serves to further the spread of the virus both inside and outside of prisons. As the number of cases and deaths in prisons due to COVID-19 continue to rise, parole boards still have the opportunity to help slow the spread of the virus by releasing more people in 2021.

 

Number of parole hearings, percent approved for release, and number of approvals, 2019 and 2020

States 2019 Number of parole hearings 2020 Number of parole hearings 2019 Percent approved (grant rate) 2020 Percent approved (grant rate) 2019 Total approved for release on parole 2020 Total approved for release on parole
Alabama 4,270 2,704 31% 20% 1,337 544
Connecticut 1,703 1,247 50% 61% 848 758
Hawaii 2,923 2,582 26% 31% 768 803
Iowa 13,385 14,502 34% 33% 4,527 4,724
Michigan 12,483 12,218 73% 71% 9,075 8,642
Montana2 2,966 2,748 38% 37% 1,113 1,013
Nevada 6,873 5,786 67% 69% 4,601 4,000
New Jersey 5,453 5,329 47% 54% 2,571 2,899
New York 8,378 6,141 47% 46% 3,919 2,852
Oklahoma 3,314 4,125 42% 24% 1,407 1,008
Pennsylvania3 18,209 16,599 60% 56% 10,884 9,244
South Carolina 3,051 2,831 36% 34% 1,089 961
South Dakota 1,729 1,675 44% 51% 769 849

 

Footnotes

  1. It’s important to note that people released on parole are not truly free, and complete the remainder of their maximum sentences on community supervision. There are many problems with community supervision, including that it sets people up to fail with strict conditions and intense surveillance. But in the context of the pandemic where mitigation efforts like social distancing are virtually impossible inside of prisons, it is generally safer for people to be released into a flawed community supervision system than to remain behind bars.

     ↩

  2. We calculated Montana’s parole numbers by 2019 and 2020 calendar year, using the official list of decisions for each month published by the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole. However, the Montana Department of Corrections’ 2021 biennial report notes the total number of parole hearings, number of approvals, and number of denials, broken down by fiscal year. Here, the DOC reports a much higher grant rate, which we were unable to replicate using the monthly data from the Board of Pardons and Parole.

     ↩

  3. Pennsylvania Act 115 (2019) reduced the number of people eligible for parole hearings by creating presumptive release for some people serving sentences of two years or less. The Act likely contributed to the drop in parole hearings and total approvals in Pennsylvania in 2020.

     ↩



Stay Informed


Get the latest updates:



Tweet this page Donate