Spread & Mitigation of
COVID-19 in PA Prisons
How to use this map
Click on any county for regularly updated news and information on COVID-19 infections and vaccination in county jails and state prisons (SCIs).
Toggle between maps to see
which county prisons are vaccinating people in custody and staff
COVID-19 cases among people in custody and staff in state and county prisons
the total number of COVID-19 deaths in state prisons among people in custody and staff and
how prison populations in county prisons declined in 2020
Vaccinations of staff and people in custody have begun in all SCIs.
COVID-19 infection data in SCIs includes both people in custody and staff and is updated daily based on data reported on the Department of Corrections' COVID-19 Dashboard.
This map was created with assistance from the Vera Institute
Ask A Question
If you have a question related to Coronavirus in PA prisons and jails, please refer to our FAQs below. If you do not see an answer to your question, or if you have a specific question regarding a loved one, please click below to submit.
How can I stay in touch with a loved one who is incarcerated?
When will bus service resume?
How are prisons and jails keeping incarcerated people safe and healthy?
How can I stay updated about the state of COVID-19 virus inside of Pennsylvania prisons and jails?
Scroll up to our interactive map (above) for regularly updated information about the spread and mitigation of COVID-19 in state prisons and county jails. Sign up for mailing list to recieve regular updates in your inbox.
What happens if my loved one is awaiting a court date?
Contact your defenders' office in the county where your loved one is scheduled to appear in court to find out what court hearings are still occuring and what delays should be anticipated. If you need help contacting a defense attorney or if you are not hearing back, please let us know.
If the case you are concerned about is in Philadelphia County, the Defenders' Association has set up a form to request assistance electronically. That form can be found here.
You can find the contact information for the Public Defender's office in your county here.
Are there any programs that offers assistance while people are awaiting a bail reduction?
Contact your county public defenders office to find out information. Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh all have local bail funds that can help with bail.
Will my loved one be released on time if they have been granted parole?
The Department of Corrections assures us that if someone has been approved for parole, they will be released on the approved date. If your loved one has not been given a release date, there may be delays.
Who can help me with the release of an incarcerated loved one?
Furloughing paroled individuals from centers to home plans
Working with the parole board to maximize parole releases
Reviewing parole detainers for individuals in county jails and state prisons
Expediting the release process for anyone with a pending home plan
Reviewing records for people within the state prison system who are beyond their minimum sentences
Will mandated programming requirements be waived while programming is suspended?
No. In most cases they will not be waived. There are a few exceptions, but very few. When programming is mandated by law, it must be completed prior to release. The Department of Corrections is working to ensure that any programs that can happen in cells are moving forward in order to minimize delays. There may be limited circumstances where a program can be completed in the community post release. Contact your local defender for more information.
Are families notified if a loved one tests positive for COVID-19?
No. Please ask your loved one to let you know if they are tested and what the results are. Encourage them to call, or write you as soon as they know.
Can people in the RHU (solitary) access virtual visits?
Yes, some restrictions may apply.
How is daily life in prisons impacted by COVID-19 restrictions?
On March 22, Secretary Wetzel released the DOC's Demobilization Plan for state correctional institutions (SCIs) that outlines gradual increases in out-of-cell time and a gradual resumption of programming.
Can I get updates about my loved one's medical condition from DOC?
Not usually. Medical information is considered confidential to the patient. If you would like to hear medical information directly from the doctor or prison administration at an SCI, your loved one should ask to update their Form DC-108. The Form DC-108 is a form that all people in state custody sign that specifies who can receive medical information. Your loved one should update this form to specifically state that you are able to receive medical information. Your name needs to be clearly spelled out on this form.
How do I properly send mail to my incarcerated loved one at a SCI facility?
What should I know about the DOC's vaccine rollout?
For the most up-to-date information on administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to incarcerated people and staff, please visit the DOC Vaccine Information page:
When will I be able to visit my loved one in person?
All SCIs have announced a resumption of limited visiting. Please note that as of August 5, 2021, in-person visits are limited to vaccinated incarcerated people only. People in custody who refuse the vaccine will still have access to video visiting and programming.
Does my loved one qualify for the 2021 COVID Reentry Payment Program?
A resident of Philadelphia
Have had a gross income equal to or less than $33,000 in 2020
Have or will have a bank account, mobile banking account, or reloadable debit card in their name that accepts direct deposit
Memo to County Commissioners:
County Jail In-Person Visiting Updates: This resource is regularly updated with the latest in-person and virtual visiting policies at county jails
The Marshall Project: What People in Prison Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine
PPS COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: What you need to know
Memo to County Commissioners:
COVID is ravaging the incarcerated. Where are the solutions? Generocity, January 22, 2021
Despite all the usual measures to reduce the spread of COVID in congregate settings — mask-wearing, social distancing, increased sanitizing, lockdowns — Secretary of the Department of Corrections John Wetzel reports that the number of incarcerated people who are infected is increasing
Pa. prisons don’t always tell families when inmates are sick The Citizen's Voice, January 18, 2021
“If the DOC has shown that they can go cell-to-cell and get important (stimulus) documentation completed, they should be lauded for it,” said Claire Shubik-Richards, executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the state’s unofficial ombudsman for prisoners and their families. “That level of competency means they could go cell-to-cell and get people to think about who they want notified, and also afford the opportunity list more than one name.”
Coronavirus raging through Pa. and Lehigh Valley prisons, infecting guards as well as inmates The Morning Call, January 2, 2021
"Advocacy groups like FAMM and the Pennsylvania Prison Society say the immediate, safe reduction of the prison population is imperative to saving lives."
All visitor buses from the Prison Society are suspended until further notice.
The Department of Correction has suspended ALL visits statewide until further notice.
Our Parenting classes are cancelled until further notice.