Press Release: New York Prisons See More Than 100 New COVID-19 Cases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2020
Contact: Jessica Floyd | JFloyd@Skdknick.com | 

NYUJ TESTING UPDATE: NEW YORK PRISONS SEES MORE THAN 100 NEW COVID-19 CASES FROM LAST WEEK; NYUJ COALITION CALLS ON DOCCS TO ALIGN WITH STATE TESTING APPROACH

NYUJ to DOCCS: Adopt New York State’s COVID-19 Strategy

NEW YORKFollowing the continued rise in positive COVID-19 cases amongst incarcerated New Yorkers, New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) again called for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to align with New York State’s COVID-19 strategy. The latest data from DOCCS show more than 100 new COVID-19 cases in New York State’s correctional facilities compared to last week.

Despite recent outbreaks in several of its correctional facilities like Clinton Correctional Facility and Elmira Correctional Facility, DOCCS continues its ineffective approach towards testing by engaging in the bare minimum of targeted diagnostic testing in its facilities for their staff and incarcerated populations. DOCCS’s failure to adopt mass testing and antibody testing for all incarcerated New Yorkers with negative tests on a rolling basis jeopardizes the safety of all incarcerated New Yorkers and the safety of all New York’s communities. NYUJ has called for not only mass testing since March, but a publicly disclosed plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus in correctional facilities and the statewide criminal justice system.

The need for improved policies is more urgent than ever as public officials begin to plan how flu vaccines will be accessed and distributed amid DOCCS’ admitted shortage. We can’t afford to  misdiagnose COVID-19 for the flu. Any lapse in action can exacerbate the risk of another prison outbreak and increase the potential of spreading to neighboring communities. NYUJ calls on the New York State’s officials to ensure that all those involved in the justice system, including incarcerated New Yorkers, people under community supervision, and DOCCS staff have full and fair access to the vaccine. Proper distribution of the vaccine to people who populate DOCCS facilities is a necessity to curb the spread of this virus through not just our correctional system, but our communities.

COVID-19 Cases Among Incarcerated Individuals and Correctional Staff
Updated on November 9, 2020

Prison System (Accessed Nov 9, 2020) Incarcerated Positive Staff Positive Incarcerated Individual to Staff COVID ratio # of Tests for Incarcerated Population
Alabama 722 503 1.15 6,588
California 16,520 4,631 3.61 103,830
Delaware 563 214 2.90 N/A
Federal BOP 18,581 2,397 7.72 72,547
Florida 16,698 3,532 4.78 84,326
Georgia 2,086 1,025 2.03 N/A
Illinois 2,901 1,564 2.03 N/A
Indiana 1,708 658 2.61 8,650
Iowa 2,401 305 5.66 23,551
Kansas 3,968 498 8.20 N/A
Louisiana 2,416 525 4.63 6,856
Michigan 8,135 1,089 9.03 211,589
Missouri 3,260* 1,158 3.13 62,611
Nevada 27 181 0.17 12,368
New Jersey 2,925 1,059 2.76 Phase 3 testing, testing all individuals who tested negative in Phase 2.
New York 1,639 1,540 1.05 31,208
Ohio 7,111 1,700 4.49 39,970
Oregon 1,290 315 4.19 9,104
Pennsylvania 972 593 1.56 20,781
South Carolina 2,358 534 4.50 N/A
Texas* 24,335 5,750 4.23 228,710
Vermont 55 24 2.29 2,088
Wisconsin 5,487 1,157 4.54 59,256

*Department data reporting changed and it now shows a lower total positive count than the previous week.

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About New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ):
New Yorkers United for Justice is a statewide coalition comprised of local and national non-profit organizations committed to supporting a movement that will bring much-needed criminal justice reform to New York State and ensure that policies promote safety and fairness. NYUJ aims for legislative urgency to fix a broken criminal justice system that punishes the poor and communities of color, tears families apart, and makes New Yorkers less safe. NYUJ believes that a system that ensures equal access to justice for anyone accused in New York State, regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or religion, must be the standard.