Impact of COVID-19 in the prison setting
From March 2020, a range of measures were introduced in adult prisons to reduce the impact of COVID-19, including vaccinations, social distancing, virtual visits, and the use of personal protective equipment such as face masks.
People in prison are known to have a high vulnerability to infectious diseases due to the living conditions within prison (Ndeffo-Mbah et al. 2018) and, as such, COVID-19 poses a serious risk to the physical health of this population. Measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are also likely to have had an impact on the mental, emotional and social wellbeing of a person in prison (Department of Health 2022).
However, there are currently limited data available to understand the extent to which COVID-19 has had an impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Australia’s prisons.
For more information on current COVID-19 measures and reported COVID-19 cases within prisons in each state and territory, see:
Department of Health (2022) CDNA National Guidelines for COVID-19 Outbreaks in Correctional and Detention Facilities- external site opens in new window, Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 29 September 2023.
Ndeffo-Mbah, M.L., Vigliotti, V.S., Skrip, L.A., Dolan, K. and Galvani, A.P (2018) Dynamic models of infectious disease transmission in prisons and the general population. Epidemiologic reviews, 40(1), pp.40-57.