As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread across North America, prisoners and detainees in the US and Canada are responding with acts of collective protest and rebellion in numbers that are nearly unprecedented in the last decade at least – on par only with the 2016 and 2018 national prisoner strikes.

Scroll down to see our current list of prisoner actions that have occurred in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The vast majority of these events involve prisoners acting in direct response to the epidemic, but we have also included events that occurred amidst the epidemic since we often do not know prisoners’ motivations. If you hear of an action, or know of one that is not on this list and should be, let us know and we’ll add it.

Alternately, you can view a map of of all the actions as well as a spreadsheet with additional data. In order to keep up with new events, we update this list first, then the spreadsheet, then map. So please bear with us as we keep up with the busy and brave prisoners and detainees.

Map of COVID Actions
Data on COVID Actions

 

List of Prisoner Actions Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis

May 20: Hunger Strike at Florence Correctional Center, Arizona
May 19: Sit-in Protest at Shelby County Jail, Tennessee
May 14: Uprising at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison
May 11: Disturbance at Redgranite Correctional Institution, Wisconsin
May 10: Uprising at Covington County Jail, Alabama
May 9: Work Stoppage at Northwest Detention Center, Washington
May 8: Hunger Strike at North Lake Correctional Facility, Michigan
May 6: Group Escape from Ouachita Parish Work Release, Monroe, Louisiana
May 6: Food Strike at Marion Correctional Institution, Ohio
May 5: Hunger Strike at Bordeaux Prison, Quebec
May 4: Protest at Dillwyn Correctional Center, Virginia
May 2: Fire and Disturbance at Cummins Unit, Arkansas
May 1: Uprising at Bristol County House of Correction, Mass.
May 1: Uprising at Southern State Correctional Facility, Vermont During May Day Protest Outside
April 30: ICE Detainees in the Women’s Unit of Adelanto ICE Processing Center Organize Strike
April 29: Uprising at Cook County Jail, Chicago
April 28: Refusal and Attack on Guards at Cook County Jail, Chicago
April 24: Food Strike at North Central Correctional Institution, Mass [Unconfirmed]
April 22: Disturbance at Westville Correctional Facility, Indiana
April 22: Protest at D.C. Central Detention Facility, Washington, D.C.
April 21: Protest at Donnacona Institution, Quebec, Canada
April 21 (est): Protest at Collins Bay Institution, Ontario, Canada
April 20: Protest at Dorsey Run Correctional Facility, Maryland [Unconfirmed]
April 20: Protest at Franklin Medical Center in Columbus, OH
April 20: Disturbance at Bridge City Center for Youth, Louisiana
April 20: Hunger Strike at North Central Correctional Facility, Gardner, Mass. [Unconfirmed]
April 19: Disturbance at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility, Michigan
April 19: Attack on Guards at Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, Florida
April 17: Disturbance at Pendleton Correctional Facility, Indiana
April 16: Food Strike at Ontario Correctional Institute in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
April 16: Escape from Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin
April 15 (est): Hunger Strike at Pierce County Jail, Washington
April 14: Prisoners Attack Guards and Attempt to Free Others at Cook County Jail, Chicago
April 12: Escape from Provincial Correctional Centre in Prince Edward Island, Canada
April 12: Uprising at Cummins Unit, Arkansas
April 12: Uprising at Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Kansas
April 12: Uprising at Bordeaux Prison, Canada in Response to COVID-19 Measures
April 12: Escape Attempt at Southwest Arkansas Community Corrections Facility in Texarkana, Arkansas
April 12: Uprising at Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brooklyn, New York
April 11: Uprising at La Palma Correctional Center, Arizona
April 11: Protest at East Mesa Reentry Facility, San Diego, California
April 11: Coordinated Threat of Suicide at Cook County Jail, Chicago
April 10: Protest at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre After Correctional Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19
April 10: Food Strike and Work Stoppage at Irwin County Detention Center, Georgia
April 9: Quarantined Prisoners Build Barricade at Southern State Correctional Facility, New Jersey
April 9: Escape at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center, Oklahoma
April 9: Uprising at Lansing Correctional Facility, Kansas
April 9: Uprising at Stewart Detention Center, Georgia
April 9: Hunger Strike at Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center, CA in Response to COVID-19
April 9: Protest at Cedar Creek Correctional Center, Washington
April 8 (est): Protest at San Diego County Jail, California
April 8: Uprising at FCI Oakdale I, Louisiana Following Multiple COVID-19 Deaths
April 8: Uprising at Monroe Correctional Complex, Washington in Response to COVID-19
April 7: Hunger Strike and Tray Blockade at Cook County Jail, Chicago
April 7: Uprising at Columbia River Correctional Facility, Oregon
April 7: Uprising at Westville Correctional Facility, Indiana [Unconfirmed]
April 7 (est): Hunger Strike at Edmonton Institution in Alberta
April 7: Uprising at Krome Detention Center, Florida to Protest COVID-19 Response
April 6: Escape from Swanson Center for Youth, Monroe, Louisiana
April 6: Escape at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center, Oklahoma
April 6: Escape from Bridge City Center for Youth, Louisiana
April 6: Uprising at Moberly Correctional Center, Missouri
April 5: Hunger Strike at North Lake Correctional Facility, Michigan
April 5: Hunger Strike at Adelanto ICE Processing Center, California
April 4: Uprising at Passaic County Jail, New Jersey Due to COVID-19
April 4: Food Strike at Queen’s Detention Facility, New York In Response to COVID-19
April 4: Hunger Strike at Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, Rhode Island
April 3: Disturbance at FCI Butner, North Carolina [Unconfirmed]
April 3: Hunger Strike at Otay Mesa ICE Facility, San Diego In Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
April 3: Disturbance at Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center During COVID-19 Quarantine
April 3: Prisoners “Threaten to Organize Hunger Strikes and Work Stoppages” at Connecticut Prison
April 3 (est)-Ongoing: Hunger and Strike at Cook County Jail, Chicago in Protest of Handling of COVID-19
April 2: Hunger Strike at Krome Detention Center, Miami, Florida in Response to COVID-19
April 2: Hunger Strike at Franklin County Jail, Pennsylvania
April 2: Uprising at the El Paso County Jail in Response to Handling of COVID-19
April 2: Protest at Neuse Correctional, North Carolina in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
March 31: Hunger Strike at Farmville Detention Center in Response to COVID-19
March 31: Hunger Strike at Monroe County Detention Center, Florida
March 30 (est): Hunger Strike at Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, Ottawa
March 30: Prisoners Start a Fire at Unnamed Texas Prison in Response to COVID-19
March 30: Work Stoppage in Bristol ICE Detention in Response to COVID-19
March 30: Hunger Strike at Miami Correctional Facility, Indiana
March 28: ICE Detainees at York County Prison Hunger Strike in Response to COVID-19
March 28: Prisoners at Indiana State Prison Start Fires in Protest of COVID-19 Lockdown [Unconfirmed]
March 28: Protest at South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Response to COVID-19
March 27: “Breaking Down Borders” Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center in Response to COVID-19
March 27 (est): Hunger Strike at Folkson ICE Processing Center, Georgia
March 27: Protest at Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Sask., Canada
March 26: Hunger Strike at Stewart Detention Center, Georgia in Response to COVID-19 
March 25: ICE Detainees Hunger Strike in Richwood, Louisiana in Response to COVID-19
March 25: Hunger Strike at Bergen County Jail, New Jersey [Unconfirmed]
March 25: Hunger Strike at Shawangunk Correctional Facility Demanding Sanitation Measures
March 24: 9 Women Escape from Work Release Facility in South Dakota to Avoid COVID-19 Exposure 
March 24: Hunger Strike at Columbia Correctional, Wisconsin Over COVID-19 Concerns [Unconfirmed]
March 24: Disturbance at Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, Louisiana
March 24: Hunger Strike at Laval Immigration Holding Centre, Quebec Against COVID-19 Conditions 
March 23: 51 ICE Detainees Sign Petition Expressing COVID-19 Concerns
March 23: Hunger Strike at Buffalo Federal Detention Center, New York
March 23: Hunger Strike at Strafford County House of Corrections, NH Protesting COVID-19 Lockdown
March 23 and 25: Two Protests at LaSalle ICE Processing Center, Louisiana in Response to COVID-19 
March 23: ICE Detainees in South Texas Protest Over Lack of Response to COVID-19 Epidemic
March 23: 14 Escape Yakima County Jail During COVID-19 Crisis
March 23: Uprising at Spring Creek Youth Services Center, Colorado
March 22: ICE Detainees Hunger Strike in Glades County, Florida Protesting Inaction on COVID-19 
March 21: Protest on Rikers Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak 
March 21: Attack on Guards at Tecumseh State Prison, Nebraska
March 20: ICE Detainees Hunger Strike at the Elizabeth Detention Center, NJ in Response to COVID-19
March 20: ICE Detainees in Alabama Protest, Hunger Strike and Threaten Suicide Amidst COVID Outbreak 
March 20: Hunger Strike in Prison in Guayama, Puerto Rico in Response to COVID-19
March 20: Uprising in Grants, New Mexico Amidst Fears of COVID-19 Outbreak 
March 18: ICE Detainees Hunger Strike in Hudson County, NJ in response to COVID-19 
March 17: Meal Strike at Monterey County Jail, California in Response to COVID-19
March 17: ICE Detainees Hunger Strike in Essex County, New Jersey in Response to COVID-19