Canary in the Coal Mine title over a large TDCJ badge superimposed over a set of prison bars, with a disposable face mask hanging off one of the bars.

Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System

Feb. 22, 2022
This report reveals the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic on prison workers in Texas. We found that Texas has some of the worst COVID outcomes among prison staff in the country, even when controlling for size. What's more, in Jan 2021, the Texas prison agency stopped reporting deaths from COVID among people who are incarcerated, making it difficult to assess the true toll of the virus behind bars. The report suggests that deaths and infections among staff may be a proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” warning that the true impact of COVID in Texas prisons has yet to be fully revealed.
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Correction Department cries out for oversight

Dec. 1, 2021
The Editorial Board discusses the need for correctional oversight, and quotes Michele on the increasing momentum across the country supporting the establishment of external correctional oversight bodies.
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At Least 231 People In Texas Jails And Prisons Have Died From COVID-19, Study Finds

Nov. 15, 2020
At least 231 people in Texas prisons and jails have died from COVID-19, including 27 staff members, 14 people in jail and 190 people in prison, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.
Cover of COVID and Corrections.

COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas

Nov. 7, 2020
The report provides groundbreaking data on the impact of COVID-19 in state-operated prisons and county-operated jails in Texas. We found that, as of October 2020, Texas had more COVID infections and deaths among incarcerated people and staff than any other state in the country. The report drew national attention and was featured in over 700 news stories.