Overcrowding, old buildings fueled COVID surge in California prisons, says new report

July 06, 2022

UC Berkeley News: Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, who led a C3.ai DTI-funded project on COVID in Mexico in 2020, has co-led a study on COVID in California prisons that released a report July 5 identifying sources of transmission surges and offering dozens of specific recommendations for improving health care policy and practice.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has repeatedly exposed the profound public health dangers posed by carceral settings, which imprison some of society’s most medically vulnerable people,” the report said. “In the United States, which holds a quarter of the world’s incarcerated population, nearly half of state prisons reported that confirmed cases among incarcerated people were four or more times (and up to 15 times) higher than the rate found in the state’s general population.”

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