North Carolina

North Carolina’s prisons are failing World Health Organization standards for infection

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North Carolina’s prisons are failing World Health Organization standards for infection

RALEIGH – FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill sent a letter today to Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks 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.

“More than half of prisoners tested are positive for COVID-19, a positive rate over five times the recommended maximum by the World Health Organization,” Gill said. “This causes a problem not only for the incarcerated, but also for staffing — we have major concerns about potential staff shortages, leading to unsafe, insecure conditions for those inside. It’s imperative that North Carolina increase testing for both staff and people in prison.”

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.