Voices from a Prison Pandemic: Lives Lost from COVID-19 at Lakeland Correctional

15 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2022 Last revised: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Kimberly Thomas

Kimberly Thomas

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: March 4, 2022


Coronavirus tore through jails and prisons like wildfire. In some states, more than half of the people incarcerated there tested positive for COVID-19; nearly 400,000 people in prison across the United States have tested positive. For people in prison, COVID-19 brought the loss of close friends, solitary confinement, loss of connection with family and programming, lack of information, and fear of contracting the virus. It has also reminded those who are incarcerated of the one-dimensional way in which people in prison are perceived. As stated by one collaborator, Cory Souders, “[s]o many men and women who come to prison are identified by the crime they committed. In my eyes, many on the outside have forgotten the fact that we are still human.”

Before society’s collective consciousness fades, the authors of this Commentary seek to document the experience of the coronavirus from inside the prison walls and to remember of the lives of the men who died from COVID-19 inside one prison, Lakeland Correctional Facility, a 1,400-person state prison in rural Michigan where coronavirus hit early and hard.

Keywords: COVID-19, Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coronavirus, coronavirus in prisons

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Kimberly, Voices from a Prison Pandemic: Lives Lost from COVID-19 at Lakeland Correctional (March 4, 2022). Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 19, 2021, U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 22-006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4049837

Kimberly Thomas (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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