Florida prisons are failing World Health Organization standards for COVID-19 testing

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Florida prisons are failing World Health Organization standards for COVID-19 testing

TALLAHASSEEFAMM Florida Director Greg Newburn sent a letter today to FDC Secretary Mark Inch calling for safe and targeted release of vulnerable and low-risk prisoners, increased COVID-19 testing in prisons, and safe staff-to-prisoner ratios in all state prison facilities.

“Nearly half of prisoners tested are positive for COVID-19, a positive rate nearly five times the recommended maximum by the World Health Organization,” Newburn said. “The virus is obviously entering prisons through the staff, but the public has no idea how often staff are tested. It’s imperative that prisons maintain proper staff-to-prisoner ratios, and improve transparency in how prisons are managing this outbreak.”

The Centers for Disease Control has issued interim guidance on managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities, and reducing the prison population will help meet these guidelines.

For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in six states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.