Photo by Neury Luciano via Flickr

Reporting on the Impact of COVID-19 on Corrections, Courts and Law Enforcement

A Webinar Series for Journalists and Editors

November 18-December 9, 2020

Almost as soon as COVID-19 began carving a deadly path through the nation’s prisons and jails,  some observers saw it as a chance to rethink the nation’s system of justice.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and the coronavirus crisis (has) led to many changes in practices,” Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation wrote in the  National Journal in June.  He listed as examples: the proliferation of alternatives to arrest, virtual check-ins for pretrial defendants and people on community supervision, and video hearings.

“As America reopens, justice systems need not reflexively return to anachronistic practices. Instead, they must leverage this opportunity to transition to a leaner and nimbler approach.”

The nation of course is still far from “reopening.”

But ideas of Levin, and similar comments from others on all sides of the political divide, as well as experts and advocates, suggest the intellectual foundation for such a transition is already in place—and supported by growing “best practices” inside the country’s correctional systems, courts and police agencies.

Can those efforts expand?  Can we afford them? Can we afford not to?

To explore those questions, the Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ) has organized a series of webinars to give journalists a sound, evidence-based grounding to assess and report these developments and their impact on the key pressure points of the justice system.

The three webinars are scheduled Nov. 18, Dec 2 and Dec 9.

For a working agenda, please click here.

For a speakers list, please click here.

For  an At-a-Glance Schedule, click here

The CMCJ appreciates the support of the Langeloth Foundation for this series.


Best Practices for Implementing Decarceration as a Strategy to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities. (National Academy of Sciences report, August, 2020)

Epidemiology of COVID-19 Among Incarcerated Individuals and Staff in Massachusetts Jails and Prisons. (JAMA Network, Aug. 21,2020)

UCLA Behind Bars Data Project (launched March 2020)

Delivering Health Care to Incarcerated Persons  [POWERPOINT] John May, et al, Centurion Services.

Clash of a Pandemic and an Epidemic  [POWERPOINT]  Dan Mistak, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, November, 2018


National Commission on Correctional Health Care

Journal of Correctional Health Care (free access to journalists) 



Will America’s Correctional Systems Get Early Access to COVID Vaccine?