Tracking COVID-19 Inmate deaths in California proves challenging

Bryan Sykes, a criminology professor at UC Irvine who studies prisoner mortality rates across the country, called it “deeply problematic” to count inmate deaths based on out-of-county home addresses listed on death certificates. “Deaths should really be recorded in the county in which they didn’t have adequate health provisions in order to prevent that death. And that’s also where the person more than likely contracted it,” Sykes said. … The risk also extends to the larger community, said Naomi Sugie, another UC Irvine criminology professor who is working on a project to document the pandemic in California prisons.