COVID-19 in corrections: Quarantine of incarcerated people

Morgan Maner, Katherine LeMasters, Jennifer Lao, Mariah Cowell, Kathryn Nowotny, David Cloud, Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carceral settings in the United States have been the source of many single site COVID-19 outbreaks. Quarantine is a strategy used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in correctional settings, and specific quarantine practices differ state to state. To better understand how states are using quarantine in prisons, we reviewed each state’s definition of quarantine and compared each state’s definition to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) definition and recommendations for quarantine in jails and prisons. Most prison systems, 45 of 53, define quarantine, but definitions vary widely. No state published definitions of quarantine that align with all CDC recommendations, and only 9 states provide quarantine data. In these states, the highest recorded quarantine rate occurred in Ohio in May 2020 at 843 per 1,000. It is necessary for prison systems to standardize their definitions of quarantine and to utilize quarantine practices in accordance with CDC recommendations. In addition, data transparency is needed to better understand the use of quarantine and its effectiveness at mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks in carceral settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0257842
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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