CDC to Distribute $700 Million for COVID-19 Prevention in Corrections
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that CDC, in partnership with DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, is distributing $700 million to 64 state and local jurisdictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in confinement facilities, including prisons, jails, and juvenile confinement facilities. These funds will allow facilities to implement COVID-19 diagnostic and screening programs for people who are incarcerated, staff, and visitors. Funds also may be used to support other activities, including COVID-19 contact tracing, isolation and quarantine strategies, infection control practices, and education and training on ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19 for facility staff and people who are incarcerated/detained.
In addition, HHS, in partnership with the DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons, will invest $169 million to advance testing and mitigation efforts in federal congregate settings. This will include funding to support routine testing and surveillance for outbreak and non-outbreak situations in accord with public health recommendations. This funding will also be used to support ongoing vaccination efforts and the necessary hospital costs associated with this pandemic.
In total, HHS is investing $1.6 billion to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in vulnerable communities, including congregate settings like nursing homes, corrections, homeless shelters group homes, and domestic violence shelters.
NCCHC applauds the inclusion of correctional institutions in this important funding. According to data published by the Marshall Project and Associated Press in December, one in every five state and federal incarcerated individuals in the United States had tested positive for the coronavirus, a rate more than four times as high as the general population. In some states, more than half of those incarcerated had been infected.