Over 200 Inmates and Staff at Prisons and Jails in Texas Have Died from Coronavirus

An offender walks past a sign on a wall at the the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men’s prison in Rosharon, Texas August 12, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Incarcerated individuals and staff at jails and prisons in Texas are dying from COVID-19 at alarming rates, a new report shows.

More than 200 incarcerated people and personnel in Texas’ jail and prison facilities have died from coronavirus, according to a report from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, which cites data collected between March and last month.

Among the 190 incarcerated individuals in prison who died from coronavirus, 102 of them were eligible for parole, according to the report. And out of the 14 incarcerated individuals in the state’s jails who died from coronavirus, 80% were not convicted of a crime, per the report.

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“The big picture takeaway is that there’s been a devastating toll from the coronavirus on prisons and jails in Texas,” Michele Deitch, a distinguished senior lecturer at UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and project director of the report, told Business Insider.

Over 80% of the incarcerated individuals who died of coronavirus in prisons in Texas were over the age of 55, the report stated. Data shows older adults are more vulnerable to coronavirus-related death.

According to the study, Texas and Florida follows Ohio and Michigan as one of the US states with the highest coronavirus-related deaths in prison per 10,000 people.

“[We] do not have control over COVID-19 in our prisons and jails in Texas, and that [is] resulting in a devastating loss of life for both incarcerated people and staff,” Deitch said.

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SOURCE: Business Insider, Inyoung Choi

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