Arkansas’ federal prison 1 of the nation’s highest for COVID-19 cases


CDC finishes testing FCI inmates/staff for COVID-19

FORREST CITY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The federal prison in Arkansas has the country’s second highest positive COVID-19 cases among inmates, according to the Federal Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) website.

As of May 19, of the state’s 1,082 active cases, 369 are in correctional facilities, according to Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith.

The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Low in Forrest City has 253 positive inmates, according to the BOP website. Only Lompoc FCI in California has more cases: 873. Lompoc’s inmate population is 963.

“Some of those [FCI Forrest City inmates] have recovered, but not all of the numbers are in the system, yet,” said Dr. Smith at Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing. “We don’t have all the details … those will likely be added to our numbers in the next few days.”

The Centers for Disease Control and federal prison health officials handled all FCI inmate testing, which was completed on Saturday, May 16, according to Dr. Smith.


  • 138,176 federal inmates
  • 11,664 inmates in community-based facilities
  • Approximately 36,000 BOP staff
  • Nationally, 2298 federal inmates and 198 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19
  • Currently, 2109 inmates and 375 staff have recovered
  • 57 federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19

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