Dr. Ricky Camplain was recently featured on Radio Bilingüe, the National Latino Public radio Network in California, in a story on poor conditions and overcrowding leading to COVID-19 outbreak in Avenal State Prison written by Maria Esquinca.
Camplain, an assistant professor at NAU’s Center for Health Equity Research and the Department of Health Sciences, is also an epidemiologist. She specializes in health equity issues for people who are incarcerated.
According to Camplain in the July 3 segment, it is impossible to effectively social distance in prison at capacity and under the American Correctional Association recommendations that correctional facilities should have at last 25 square feet.
She also said in the story that other well-researched methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19––hand washing, sanitizer use, frequent common area cleaning and wearing masks––are not adequately available or performed in prison.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit US correctional facilities hard with some of the most impactful outbreaks of COVID-19 occurring in prisons. It was important that correctional facilities took extreme mitigation measures early in the pandemic such as releases to adequately allow for social distancing, extreme cleaning protocols, requiring masks, and comprehensive testing. However, there were missed opportunities in many facilities.”
In the segment, Esquinca said that there are more than 900 confirmed cases, three deaths and 78 positive cases from staff at Avenal State Prison.
Follow more of Camplain’s work on CHER’s Criminal Justice and Public Health Interface page.