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By Eileen Guo

June 12, 2020

California's Institution for Men

California’s Institution for Men. a state prison in Chino, Calif., has had one of the largest outbreaks in the state’s prison system.

With 767 cases and counting among inmates, CIM has one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks among all 35 facilities within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). As of June 11, there are still 515 cases classified as active, as well as 112 cases among staff at the prison, which is east of Los Angeles. With 13 inmate deaths to date, CIM was, for months, the only state prison in California to have inmates die of Covid-19.

Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that prisons have become coronavirus clusters. According to the New York Times, there are at least 59,000 infections among incarcerated individuals in jails, prisons, and other federal facilities across the country, and at least 557 inmates and prison workers have died of Covid-19.

Speaking of the challenges at CIM, Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, a professor of social health at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies the effect of incarceration on health, said: “I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact time that you know they should have acted.’’

But, she added, “they acted late.’’

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