Covid Prison Project – Policy Data

The COVID Prison Project policy arm tracks, stores, codes, and analyzes the policies and related data that are related to COVID-19 in prisons for both people who are incarcerated and for staff. Data were collected from publicly available sources of statewide prison policies including Department of Corrections websites, Facebook pages, Twitter pages, and news releases for all 50 states, ICE, and the Federal BOP. Check out some of our data visualizations of quarantine, isolation, and masking policies below! If you have any suggestions or comments, please email us at


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Communication of COVID-19-related policies in prisons

By: Forrest Behne

Among other things, the COVID Prison Project tracks Department of Corrections operational policies. These are critical to understand because they affect the lives of those residing in, working in, and living nearby correctional facilities. Equally important to the content of these policies is whether or not they are effectively communicated. Here, we graded the performance of different jurisdictions in this key departmental function.

Some of the monitored jurisdictions have government agencies that operate under slightly different names. For clarity, these were referred to by the shorthand Department of Corrections (DOC), Probation & Parole (P&P), Department of Health (DOH).

Key Findings:

  • All monitored jurisdictions communicated COVID-specific operational policy changes on DOC websites.
  • Facebook and Twitter were the preferred social media platforms, each having 53.70% of jurisdictions sharing policy information through DOC accounts. Further, these accounts have the largest collective follower base.
  • Idaho was the best performing jurisdiction, with the DOC actively communicated policy changes across all four monitored social media accounts, the DOC website, P&P website, and DOH website.





Other Visualizations: