This toolkit was created to help criminal justice decision makers track and anticipate the impact of Covid-19 in incarceration settings. It includes:
System (and facility) level modeling to project cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among both staff and the incarcerated population.
Real-time rate of spread
The model reports the current rate of spread and trajectory of the outbreak in each facility, based on case numbers entered to-date.
Comparison of before-and-after scenarios for policy changes and early release decisions
The model is updated daily to include new case numbers for each county and state.
In addition, we update assumptions based on new information and add additional features and capabilities that might be helpful. We recommend re-downloading the model every 1-3 days to ensure you’re using up-to-date information.
Note: The date on the 'Output' tab reflects the release date of that model. Even if the model was released several days ago, if you just downloaded it today the case and fatality numbers will be current within one day.
If you’re using the model for the first time, you’ll be asked to set up your first facility. First, enter your facility’s name, the type of facility (prison or county jail), and its current location.
Then, enter your current cases and population for the facility, and the set of mitigation steps taken to-date.
Once you’ve saved the new facility, you’ll be taken to your baseline scenario (which lists all of your facilities).
To calculate the rate of spread, we’ll need historical data on when cases developed in each facility. Click the red number of cases to add new or historical information.
Click on the date to see the calendar widget, which will tell you which dates are missing data for this facility (the red background).
(Note: Cases should always be entered as a cumulative total - so include individuals who have recovered. Also, remember to hit ‘Save’ each time if you’re adding multiple days’ data at once.)
Once you have facilities set up, and enough historical data, you’ll see the current rate of spread in your facilities. You can click on a facility to see its rate of spread over time:
Or, from your baseline scenario you can click the ‘Rate of Spread’ tab to compare all facilities.
Lastly, to generate an impact report see our User Guide.
Questions? Feedback? Need help refining this model or fitting it to your system? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recidiviz and the Council of State Governments Justice Center are offering assistance to state and county leaders looking to refine and implement the model in their system. Set up a 15 minute initial consultation with the team here and we’ll get you started.
What makes this model different from the models I see online or in the news?
This model is similar to models being used publicly, but factors in common criminal justice variables (population size, potential population releases, etc).
It also uses an R0 (basic reproductive number, which estimates the rate of an infection's spread) that is specific to prison and jail populations, where airborne illnesses spread at a significantly faster rate than is seen in the general population. See relevant academic work on the spread of similar illnesses in enclosed populations cited in the 'Variables' tab.
Can I get help expanding this model to better fit my jail or prison system?
Yes! You can set up a 15m consultation with the team that produced this model here.
We also suggest joining the 'Criminal Justice C19' community on Slack (see ‘Join the Conversation’ above). This is a community of criminal justice department leads and research staff sharing knowledge on how they're approaching the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Where did all these numbers come from?
You can see a complete list of sources in the ‘Variables’ tab in the model.
Where can I learn more about how others in my field are preparing for COVID-19?
Join the COVID-19 Criminal Justice community on Slack (see ‘Join the Conversation’ above). This is a community of criminal justice department leads and research staff sharing knowledge on how they're approaching the challenges posed by COVID-19.
How can I submit questions, concerns, or suggestions about the model?
First, double-check that you have the most recent version of the model, in case your issue has already been addressed (you can download the latest copy above).
If your issue persists, send your question to email@example.com or set up time with the Recidiviz team here. Recidiviz is a non-profit organization applying technology to issues in criminal justice, and maintains this model to help agencies anticipate and respond to the crisis.
For general questions or suggestions, we'd recommend bringing them up in the 'Criminal Justice C19' community on Slack, where other criminal justice agencies can contribute and build on your ideas (see ‘Join the Conversation’ above).
Can I make changes to this model, or re-share it with others?
You can modify or re-share this model so long as you keep the license notice in the FAQ tab of the model unchanged.
What other guidelines or recommendations are available to prepare our system for COVID-19?
How can I help other criminal justice systems?
The best way to help the rest of the community in real-time is to join the 'Criminal Justice C19' community on Slack (see ‘Join the Conversation’ above). This is a community of criminal justice agency leads and research staff sharing knowledge on how they're approaching the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Can I still use the Excel version of the model?
The model was initially released in Microsoft Excel, but as we added more functionality we surpassed the calculation complexity that Excel is intended to support (real-time rate of spread calculations, in particular, are very math-heavy).
We’ve removed the Excel model from this page because it was falling behind in functionality, and it became challenging to keep features and epidemiology factors aligned across both. If you’d like a copy of the old Excel version, however, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share a copy with you.
The web version of the model is still open source, meaning you can still see how the model is implemented and how calculations are run in our code repository. You can also see an overview of the SEIR compartments used by the model in this diagram.
We’d like to thank the following contributors for helping us build and continuously improve the model.
You can see a full list of model collaborators on recidiviz.org/collaborators.