96 Deaths in Detention: A View of COVID-19 in the Federal Bureau of Prisons as Captured in Death Notices

Between March 28 and July 31, 2020, 96 people died while incarcerated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) due to COVID-19 related causes. Each death was announced by the BOP in a press release that provided stark details about the person and key dates in the progression of the virus. Analysis of all 96 death notices reveals patterns whereby extremely sick people rarely received medical attention before their symptoms overwhelmed them. The notices, published by the BOP, help confirm the picture previously told by incarcerated people and their advocates, lawyers that represent them, and journalists of inadequate medical attention, testing, and epidemic response in prisons run by the United States government.

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