The Coronavirus pandemic has added new fears for Americans in almost every area of life, especially for those facing criminal charges. Given how easily COVID-19 spreads, there is naturally some worry about the possible dangers of being incarcerated during this pandemic. Not only are there the challenges of overcrowding in prisons and the inability to socially distance, but there are also concerns about adequate healthcare for those who get ill. If you’re charged with a crime in Indiana, you may have some concerns of your own as to what happens if you are sentenced to jail time. Let’s take a closer look at how Indiana prisons have handled the COVID crisis and what the numbers tell us.
A Look at the Numbers
Despite the horror stories of COVID running rampant in prisons, there have been relatively few reported deaths of inmates related to COVID. The Marshall Project tracked the numbers extensively through June 2021. Here are some highlights from their findings pertaining to Indiana.
- The Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) has had a fairly low infection rate per number of inmates. The number of people incarcerated at their facilities is the 14th highest in the country, yet they are 28th out of all 50 states in the number of reported COVID cases.
- Death rates among Indiana inmates are lower than the national average. Death rates in prisons across the country have been considerably low, with approximately 0.7 percent of COVID cases among inmates resulting in death nationwide. In Indiana prisons, about 1.4 percent of inmates who got COVID died from the disease–still below the national death rate of 1.6 percent.
- Indiana prisons never experienced a major outbreak of COVID. Unlike some states like California and Pennsylvania, whose prisons saw huge spikes in COVID cases during the peak of the pandemic, IDOC’s infection rates have stayed relatively consistent month to month since the pandemic began.
How IDOC Is Keeping Inmates Safe
One of the reasons for the lower COVID numbers in Indiana prisons is that IDOC quickly enacted aggressive protocols for socially distancing, disinfecting, providing PPE, identifying potential cases among inmates, and quarantining those who might be sick. They have made sure all personnel and inmates have been properly informed about the dangers of the disease. They suspended all in-person visitations of inmates, only resuming in-person visits at the end of August 2021.
What It Means for You
If you’re charged with a serious crime in Indiana, you naturally want to do everything possible to avoid going to prison. However, if you do receive a prison sentence, IDOC has set protocols to ensure that inmates are at least as safe from COVID behind bars as they would be outside the facility. At Razumich & Associates, our team understands what is at stake for you and your family when you are charged with a crime, and we are committed to defending you aggressively while ensuring your rights are protected. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.