Published on: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project is a robust resource that tracks COVID-19 conditions in jails and prisons and the efforts-both in and out of court-to decrease jail and prison populations and improve conditions to ensure the safety of residents and staff.  The COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project is a collaboration between UCLA Law, the Bronx Defenders, and Columbia Law School's Center for Instutional and Social Change and Zealous.  The database is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers and journalist interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that COVID-19 poses to individuals who are detained.  

Among other resources, the project has a public spreadsheet tracking hundreds of COVID-19 related decisions.  Useful for litigation, the database flags a number of salient features of decisions relevant to advocates, including pre-existing health conditions, the legal basis for claims, defenses raised, whether an individual has COVID-19, past criminal convictions, conditions of release and outcomes.  Each decision is also accompanied by a short summary.