The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading through federal prisons. As of December 27, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has reported 952 positive cases and two deaths among federal prisoners. The outbreaks show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Prisoners and advocates have called for action to combat the spread and keep prisoners and surrounding communities safe, including demands for decarceration and the placement of prisoners as a priority group for receiving COVID-19 vaccines. But prisoners are not only experiencing the pandemic as incarcerated people, they are also essential workers facing many of the same health and safety issues as vulnerable workers outside of prisons.