Correctional Services During and Beyond COVID-19

 Link to Policy Briefing

"Correctional services, both institutional and within the community, are significantly impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown those living and working in correctional facilities are particularly susceptible to exposure to potential contagions....

In this policy brief, we focus on the current situation and examine the tensions around how COVID-19 has introduced new challenges while also exacerbating strains on the correctional system....

As the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked public discourse about the fact that our correctional systems are in crisis and need to be reformed, we believe this is a particularly opportune time to consider drastically reducing the incarcerated population (decarcerating) and to reconsider who could be safely housed in the community. As many of our recommendations with respect to addressing the pandemic in correctional systems speak to efforts and considerations toward reducing the incarcerated population in the federal and provincial/territorial correctional systems, we see the current brief as an opportunity to also suggest improvements for those who will remain in prison (during COVID-19 and beyond).

In that respect, we highlight and make recommendations for the needs of those who remain incarcerated in general, and for Indigenous people in particular, as well as for those who are serving their sentences in the community. Further, we make recommendations for those working in closed-custody institutions and employed to support the re-entry experiences of formerly incarcerated persons."

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