Trends in Decarceration, COVID-19 Cases, and SARS-CoV-2 Testing in US Immigration Detention Centers From September 2020 to August 2021 | Health Disparities | JN Learning | AMA Ed Hub [Skip to Content]
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Trends in Decarceration, COVID-19 Cases, and SARS-CoV-2 Testing in US Immigration Detention Centers From September 2020 to August 2021

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of migrants detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has fluctuated widely.1 During certain periods, ICE reduced its population to mitigate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among detained migrants, but federal oversight revealed inconsistent use of preventative measures across facilities.2 We assessed trends in COVID-19 cases and testing in ICE detention centers as they relate to changes in the detained population size.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: December 29, 2021.

Published: February 16, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.48859

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Uppal N et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Nishant Uppal, BS, Harvard Medical School, 260 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (Nishant_uppal@hms.harvard.edu).

Author Contributions: Mr Uppal and Ms Chin had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Uppal, Erfani, Sandoval, Lee, Peeler.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Uppal, Chin, Erfani, Mishori, Peeler.

Drafting of the manuscript: Uppal, Chin, Sandoval, Lee, Peeler.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Uppal, Chin, Erfani.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Uppal, Lee.

Supervision: Mishori, Peeler.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Mr Uppal reported receiving income from Quantified Ventures and Ironwood Medical Information Technologies outside of the submitted work. Dr Mishori reported being a medical advisor for Physicians for Human Rights. Dr Peeler reported serving as an unpaid medical expert for Physicians for Human Rights. No other disclosures were reported.

References
1.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Detention management. Accessed October 14, 2021. https://www.ice.gov/detain/detention-management
2.
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. ICE’s management of COVID-19 in its detention facilities provides lessons learned for future pandemic responses. Accessed October 14, 2021. https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2021-09/OIG-21-58-Sep21.pdf
3.
Vera Institute. Tracking COVID-19 in immigration detention. Accessed October 14, 2021. https://www.vera.org/tracking-covid-19-in-immigration-detention
4.
Erfani  P , Uppal  N , Lee  CH , Mishori  R , Peeler  KR .  COVID-19 testing and cases in immigration detention centers, April-August 2020.   JAMA. 2021;325(2):182-184. PubMedGoogle Scholar
5.
Reinhart  E , Chen  DL .  Association of jail decarceration and anticontagion policies with COVID-19 case growth rates in US counties.   JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2123405. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.23405 PubMedGoogle Scholar
6.
Marquez  N , Ward  JA , Parish  K , Saloner  B , Dolovich  S .  COVID-19 incidence and mortality in federal and state prisons compared with the US population, April 5, 2020, to April 3, 2021.   JAMA. 2021;326(18):1865-1867. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.17575 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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