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The Association between Intersystem Prison Transfers and COVID-19 Incidence in a State Prison System

Citation

Brinkley-Rubinstein, Lauren; LeMasters, Katherine; Nguyen, Phuc; Nowotny, Kathryn; Cloud, David; & Volfovsky, Alexander (2021). The Association between Intersystem Prison Transfers and COVID-19 Incidence in a State Prison System. PLOS ONE, 16(8), e0256185. PMCID: PMC8360540

Abstract

Prisons are the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Media reports have focused on whether transfers of incarcerated people between prisons have been the source of outbreaks. Our objective was to examine the relationship between intersystem prison transfers and COVID-19 incidence in a state prison system. We assessed the change in the means of the time-series of prison transfers and their cross-correlation with the time-series of COVID-19 tests and cases. Regression with automatic detection of multiple change-points was used to identify important changes to transfers. There were over 20,000 transfers between the state's prisons from January through October 2020. Most who were transferred (82%), experienced a single transfer. Transfers between prisons are positively related to future COVID-19 case rates but transfers are not reactive to current case rates. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in carceral settings, it is crucial for transfers of individuals between facilities to be limited.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256185

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2021

Journal Title

PLOS ONE

Author(s)

Brinkley-Rubinstein, Lauren
LeMasters, Katherine
Nguyen, Phuc
Nowotny, Kathryn
Cloud, David
Volfovsky, Alexander

Article Type

Regular

PMCID

PMC8360540

Data Set/Study

COVID Prison Project (CPP)

Continent/Country

United States of America

State

Nonspecific

ORCiD

LeMasters - 0000-0002-1754-1730