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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Pandemic in Prison: Implications for California Politics and Policymaking


The effects of COVID-19 across California have been devastating, but the impact of the virus has been particularly acute in the state’s overcrowded prisons and jails.  The epidemic has clear implications for incarcerated individuals and their families, but also for the tens of thousands of Californians employed in the state’s prison system. These workers represent a powerful force in state politics (Myers, 2018; Williams et al., 2020).

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