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Preparing People for Reentry From Jails and Prisons During the COVID-19 Epidemic

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2020
9 pages
In addition to providing instructions to jail and prison staff on how to prepare inmates for protection against COVOD-19 prior to their release into the community, this report provides instructional handouts for inmates and online access to instructional videos on the nature of and personal protection measures against COVID-19 infection.
Since many correctional facilities are providing early release to eliminate crowding that facilitates the spread of COVID-19, it is important that these facilities provide prerelease instructions to inmates about the basics of preventing infection and transmission of COVID-19 while in custody and upon release. A significant percentage of inmates have low reading comprehension, a deficit in health education, and exposure to misinformation about the nature and prevention of COVID-19. The current report guides correctional staff in the content and delivery of information to inmates on the nature of the virus, the risks and symptoms of its infection, and ways to protect against it and prevent its spread. Inmates with risk factors, such as age and pre-existing health conditions that increase vulnerability to and severity of the virus infection, should be made aware of their increased risk and receive intensive instruction in preventive methods. Handouts with various instructions related to prevention and response to COVID-19 infection are provided for reproduction. Accessible videos cover such issues as handwashing, social distancing, shelter-in-place, and cough etiquette.

Date Published: May 1, 2020