Impact of COVID-19 in the prison setting

From March 2020, a range of measures were introduced in adult prisons to reduce the impact of COVID-19, including vaccinations, social distancing, virtual visits, and the use of personal protective equipment such as face masks.

People in prison are known to have a high vulnerability to infectious diseases due to the living conditions within prison (Ndeffo-Mbah et al. 2018) and, as such, COVID-19 poses a serious risk to the physical health of this population. Measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are also likely to have had an impact on the mental, emotional and social wellbeing of a person in prison (Department of Health 2022).

However, there are currently limited data available to understand the extent to which COVID-19 has had an impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Australia‚Äôs prisons.

For more information on current COVID-19 measures and reported COVID-19 cases within prisons in each state and territory, see: