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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Georgia legislators, citing Reuters report, want every jail death investigated

Jan. 25, 2021
Georgia ranks among 17 state governments with no mechanism for oversight of local jails, according to research by Reuters and Michele Deitch, a corrections specialist at the University of Texas.
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Report from UT Austin show how hard COVID hit TX prisons

Nov. 17, 2020
A new report from researchers at the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs paints a clear picture of how the virus has been ravaging inmate populations in the states prison and jail systems. “What we found was just stunning to us,” said Alycia Welch.
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Hundreds have died from COVID-19 in Texas jails and prisons — some while awaiting trial

Nov. 16, 2020
Author of new report on prison death rates calls on state to release inmates who pose no risk to safety
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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.
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More than 200 incarcerated people and staff at Texas prisons and jails have died from coronavirus, report shows

Nov. 13, 2020
Hundreds of incarcerated people and staff at jails and prisons in Texas have died from coronavirus, according to a new report by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
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80 percent of those who died of Covid-19 in Texas county jails were never convicted of a crime

Nov. 12, 2020
The “devastating human toll” of Covid-19 in Texas’s correctional facilities is revealed in a new report by University of Texas at Austin researchers.
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Prisons and jails have become a ‘public health threat’ during the pandemic, advocates say

Nov. 11, 2020
A recent overview by the Covid, Corrections, and Oversight Project at the University of Texas at Austin found that the death curve in Texas prisons remains “stubbornly high”; in one East Texas prison, the Duncan Unit, nearly 6 percent of inmates have died.
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COVID Deaths in Texas Prisons Lead Nation

Nov. 10, 2020
“More people in Texas prisons have contracted COVID than in any other prison system in the United States,” said the report.
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Texas prisons, jails worst COVID-19 hotspots of any in US

Nov. 9, 2020
More Texas jail and prison inmates and staff have been infected and killed by COVID-19 than those of any other state’s criminal justice system, according to a university report released Monday.