COVID-19 Behind Bars Project Enhances Prison/COVID-19 Database

June 29, 2020

The UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, in collaboration with the Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change and Zealous, has launched a new electronic database of COVID-19-related materials designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that COVID-19 poses to individuals who are detained.

The database is a project of “Health Is Justice,” a decarceration resource toolkit. This collaboration builds off the pre-existing UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project database tracking court orders and filings, will track additional categories and ultimately provide vastly improved searchability.

The first phase of the new project-- a public spreadsheet tracking hundreds of COVID-19 related decisions--is live. 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.

The second phase of the project will include more detailed advanced search functions, a more user-friendly platform, and a database of example briefs similarly categorized, with relevant information about the nature of claims and individuals involved.

Please contact us at with questions or suggestions, to facilitate sharing your own COVID-19 related briefing or regarding decisions that you do not yet see in the database.

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