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 fordon@law.ucla.edu 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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