News Update

California prison staff must be vaccinated by Jan. 12, federal judge orders

A federal judge has ordered California prison employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Jan. 12, potentially reducing the number of Covid-19 cases among young and adult inmates. Inside the state’s four youth correctional institutions, a total of 255 youth and 278 staff members have contracted the virus since the onset of the pandemic, even as the number of incarcerated youth dwindles at the state level.

Plus, a federal report found that half of the outbreaks in California’s state prisons between May and July were traced back to employees.

The order comes after months of uncertainty as the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a postponement of a vaccination mandate for prison staff.

As of Oct. 22, 62% of staff working at the state’s youth prison institutions were fully vaccinated. The remaining 38% were subject to weekly Covid-19 testing. For staff across all prisons in the state, the vaccination rate is currently 66%, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.