23rd November 2020
Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford have conducted a systematic review on managing outbreaks of highly contagious diseases in prisons. 28 studies of investigations were examined in high-income countries with documented outbreaks of various contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza and COVID-19.
The researchers found a number of challenges to managing outbreaks in prisons including:
Researchers argued that the need to take ‘a public health approach to managing COVID-19 in prisons is important now and for any future infectious disease outbreaks.’ On publication of the research, Professor Seena Fazel stated ‘Our research suggests that people in prison should be among the first groups to receive any COVID-19 vaccine to protect against infection and to prevent further spread of the disease’.
Other key recommendations to health and prison authorities include:
‘Managing outbreaks of highly contagious diseases in prisons: a systematic review’ can be read in full on the British Medical Journal here.
A short news article on the research can be read on the University of Oxford website here.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.