Hundreds dead. Thousands infected. Stories from the inside.


Disregard of Safety

The impossibility of social distancing, the overall unsanitary conditions, a lack of PPE, and negligence on behalf of correctional officers are some of the many reasons safety was compromised in facilities.

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I’ve lost family members since this pandemic has started. Haven’t got to see them. And, you know, it - it’s rough for us, too.

Incarcerated Person, State Prisons, 11.06.2020

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COVID-19 has decimated California prisons and jails. PrisonPandemic is a digital archive of stories from people incarcerated, their family members and loved ones, and the staff who work in these facilities.

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Across California

There are 172 carceral facilities throughout the state, including county jails, state prisons, federal prisons, and immigration detention facilities.

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State Prisons

There are 34 prisons throughout California, housing approximately 96,000 people. An estimated 92% of incarcerated people have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Federal Prisons

There are 12 federal prisons throughout California. An estimated 35% of incarcerated people in these facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

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County Jails

Each of California's 58 counties administers their own jail system. It is impossible to know the cumulative toll of COVID-19. We do know Los Angeles County jails have the highest known infection rates in the country.

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ICE Detention Centers

There are seven detention centers throughout California. A reported 2,602 incarcerated people in seven facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

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