In a new story for Pew’s Stateline, certain states have failed to update their public COVID-19 infection dashboards for their prisons, leading to accusations of deliberately withholding the information in order to make the prisons appear to have a lower infection rate. Corrections systems in many states have slowed down in reporting new cases.

From the story: “At least a half-dozen states, including Florida and Georgia as well as Texas, provide even less information than they once did, according to researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles’ COVID Behind Bars Data Project, which collects and analyzes data on the pandemic in corrections settings.

In an online post in late August, the project noted that while prison reporting had been “plagued by deep inadequacies” since the start of the pandemic, corrections systems cut back even more on public data in recent months. This happened even though prisons, like nursing homes, have been particularly susceptible to deadly outbreaks of the virus.

Agencies “had begun to roll back basic data reporting on the impact of COVID-19 in their facilities,” the authors wrote of a trend they detected beginning last spring. They characterize the drift as “a deliberate cloaking of the reality on the ground.”

As rural nursing homes and prisons are known as highly susceptible places for new COVID infections, the lack of updated information is either the result of waiting for autopsy results, or the fear of such information being used to cast correctional systems in a bad light.

To read the rest of the story, click here.