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map showing the distribution in scores awarded to each state based on COVID-19 infection and death rates in prisons

(Map: Emily Widra, 2021)

This map originally appeared in States of emergency: The failure of prison system responses to COVID-19.

Across the country, COVID-19 has claimed more than 2,700 lives behind bars and infected 1 out of every 3 people in prison. Some states were hit particularly hard by the virus and responded by rapid mass testing of incarcerated people, while other states — like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi — reported lower infection rates and lower rates of testing. Mortality rates in prisons are often double that of the state as a whole, further emphasizing the danger COVID-19 poses behind bars. For detailed data, see the infections and death rates appendix table.

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