The Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), in collaboration with the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre (ABRC) and The Covid Prison Project held a Incarceration and COVID-19 workshop. This workshop was hosted by Ricky Camplain, PhD, Assistant Professor, NAU Health Sciences, Epidemiologist at the Center for Health Equity Research, and Carly Camplain, JD, health policy research.
Guest speakers included, Meghan Peterson, Research Scientist at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Kathryn Nowotny, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Miami, Co-Founder of The Covid Prison Project, Beya Thayer, Executive Director Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition, Capt. Richard Martin, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Delores Greyeyes, PhD, Management Team Navajo Division of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, and Matt Figueroa, Jail Commander Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
COVID-19 has had a high impact on correctional facilities (jails and prisons), and this workshop discussed the impact of COVID-19 on correctional facilities at a local, tribal, and national level and how different players and institutions have attempted to combat COVID-19 through practice and research. Research on COVID-19 at correctional facilities was presented including a summary of responses at different facilities. Recommendations looking forward include the need for public health oversight of carceral response, and policy changes to prevent, control, or reduce the spread of infectious disease at incarceration facilities.