Background: Our objective was to examine the temporal relationship between COVID-19 infections among prison staff, incarcerated individuals, and the general population in the county where the prison is located among federal prisons in the United States. Methods: We employed population-standardized regressions with fixed effects for prisons to predict the number of active cases of COVID-19 among incarcerated persons using data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for the months of March to December in 2020 for 63 prisons. Results: There is a significant relationship between the COVID-19 prevalence among staff, and through them, the larger community, and COVID-19 prevalence among incarcerated persons in the US federal prison system. When staff rates are low or at zero, COVID-19 incidence in the larger community continues to have an association with COVID-19 prevalence among incarcerated persons, suggesting possible pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission by staff. Masking policies slightly reduced COVID-19 prevalence among incarcerated persons, though the association between infections among staff, the community, and incarcerated persons remained significant and strong. Conclusion: The relationship between COVID-19 infections among staff and incarcerated persons shows that staff is vital to infection control, and correctional administrators should also focus infection containment efforts on staff, in addition to incarcerated persons.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Wallace, D., Eason, J. M., Walker, J., Towers, S., Grubesic, T. H., & Nelson, J. R. (2021). Is There a Temporal Relationship between COVID-19 Infections among Prison Staff, Incarcerated Persons and the Larger Community in the United States? International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): 6873. doi:10.3390/ijerph18136873.
- Staff involved