Covid-19: Why Are Prisons a Particular Risk, and What Can Be Done to Mitigate this?

Published on 6 May 2020

This brief provides key considerations related to Covid-19 in the context of prisons, jails and similar detention facilities (referred to collectively in this brief as “prisons”).

It summarises the particular risks associated with an outbreak of Covid-19 in prisons in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and highlights approaches that may be used to mitigate those risks. Many of these same risks and approaches are equally applicable to other facilities, such as migration detention centres, but specific consideration of those facilities is beyond the scope of this brief.

This brief was developed for the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP) by Anthrologica (Leslie Jones). It aims to provide practical considerations for governments and response partners working on the Covid-19 response in the context of LMICs. The brief was reviewed by colleagues at Amend, University of California, San Francisco; Penal Reform International; and the UK Department for International Development. It is the responsibility of the SSHAP.

Cite this publication

SSHAP (2020) COVID-19: Why Are Prisons a Particular Risk, and What Can Be Done to Mitigate This? SSHAP (2020)


Leslie Jones
Olivia Tulloch

Access this publication

Read full publication online in OpenDocs


In partnership with
Supported by
UNICEF Wellcome Trust

Publication details



About this publication

Related content