Monday numbers: Incarceration and COVID-19

By: - April 13, 2020 5:00 am

Last week, several civil rights organizations and incarcerated people filed a lawsuit seeking emergency help from the North Carolina Supreme Court. Conditions for battling the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons and jails are less than ideal, and the complainants have asked justices to consider releasing as many incarcerated adults and youths as possible.

Below are several numbers about incarceration and COVID-19,  current as of Sunday, April 12:

525,704 — number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

20,486 — number of virus deaths in the U.S.

4,520 – North Carolina COVID-19 cases

81 – COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina

351 – incarcerated people with COVID-19, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

189 – BOP staffers with COVID-19

10 – incarcerated people in federal prisons who have died from COVID-19

59 –incarcerated people with COVID-19 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC

23 –  infected staffers at Butner

1 –  incarcerated person who has died of COVID-19 at FCC in Butner

37 – incarcerated people in North Carolina-run prisons who have tested positive for COVID-19

8,000 – people incarcerated in North Carolina prisons who are over age 50

8 times – greater likelihood of a COVID-19 infection for incarcerated people at Rikers Island jail than the average New Yorker; the city is the nation’s virus epicenter

$2-$5 – typical co-pay for medical visits in prisons across the nation; North Carolina state prisons have suspended all co-pays for respiratory, flu-related, or COVID-19 symptoms

14 to 63 cents – average hourly rate of working incarcerated people

8th –  amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment

Sources: Federal Bureau of Prisons, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, NC Department of Health and Human Services, Legal Aid Society, Prison Policy Initiative

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Melissa Boughton

Melissa Boughton worked as the Courts and Law Reporter at NC Policy Watch from 2016 to 2020.