Incarceration Weakens a Community’s Immune System: Mass Incarceration and COVID-19 Cases in Milwaukee.Read more
This report shows preliminary results of a study looking at the effect of mass incarceration on COVID-19 cases at the community level in Milwaukee. Research has shown how incarceration at the community level creates high rates of family disruption, economic and housing instability, and even more crime. We hypothesize that, by damaging social and economic ties, mass incarceration makes the entire community more vulnerable to public health crises. We find that the number of individuals sentenced to incarceration in 2015 is a strong predictor of the number of COVID-19 cases at the census tract level in Milwaukee, above and beyond the effects of minority population, poverty, unemployment, and population not in the labor force.
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The decisions we make amid the coronavirus pandemic will have implications for years to come. We must track these decisions and evaluate their impacts. Measures for Justice is here to help.
In the past weeks, correctional facilities and criminal justice agencies across all 3,100 counties of the United States have been grappling with how the criminal justice system should function, and what responsibilities each stakeholder has to ensure that public safety is upheld while maintaining the due process and human rights of all persons coming into contact with the system.