Preparedness in Jails Project

H1N1 influenza pandemic revealed that small and mid-sized jails were largely missed during distribution of H1N1 vaccine.


To more proactively connect jails with local health departments to establish relationships and develop innovative approaches to preparedness planning.


Findings from a national survey of jails and prisons conducted by our team after the 2009/2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic revealed that small and mid-sized jails were largely missed during distribution of H1N1 vaccine.  To address this preparedness gap, the goal of the Preparedness in Jails project was to strengthen preparedness-related collaborations between local public health departments (e.g. county health departments) and their corresponding jurisdictional jails. This goal was accomplished through a demonstration project centered around maternal tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine promotion to pregnant inmates.  Eleven county-jail dyads in four Georgia health districts participated in this project in 2016 – 2017.

The end product of this project was the development of the Preparedness in Jails toolkit to serve as a an educational resource for local public health practitioners and jails staff interested in cultivating and sustaining a preparedness-focused partnership. 

The toolkit includes: 

  • Editable educational presentations on maternal Tdap vaccination and Zika virus disease (with separate versions for healthcare workers and detainees)
  • Valuable content on how to forge relationships between jails and local health departments
  • Editable contact information sheets

Our Team

Anne Spaulding, MD, MPH
Anne Spaulding, MD, MPH

Project Director
Associate Professor, Epidemiology

Chava Bowden
Chava Bowden

Program Manager

Rebecca Fils-Aime, MPH
Rebecca Fils-Aime, MPH

Graduate Research Assistant
Years of service: 2016-2017


  1. Fils-Aime R., Lehnert J.D., Chamberlain A.T., Bowden C.J., Berkelman R. L., Spaulding A.C.  Local Jails and Public Health Emergency Preparedness: A reproducible demonstration project to strengthen the ability of the public health infrastructure to deliver vaccines.  Submitted for review.
  1. Spaulding A. Jail & Health Department Preparedness via Maternal Tdap Vaccine Education and Distribution. Oral presentation. Fourth Annual Georgia Region E Healthcare Coalition Meeting. Watkinsville, GA.  February 17, 2017.
  2. Fils-Aime R, Spaulding A, Chamberlain A, Bowden C, Lehnert JD. Improving Jail and Health Department Preparedness Efforts by Demonstrating the Feasibility of Maternal Tdap Vaccine Education and Distribution. Oral Presentation at the 10th Annual Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, March 16-17, 2017. Atlanta, GA.
  3. Spaulding A, Chamberlain A, Bowden C. Planning for Inevitable Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Jail. Presentation at the National Conference on Correctional HealthCare, Chicago IL, November 5, 2017.

Learn more about the years of research that informed this project:
Visit our online archive


Tool Kit

Small jails lack emergency preparedness for the delivery of vaccines to detainees. Local health department, however, can assist with preparing jails if the proper relationships are built between the two entities.

Creating a Plan for Emergency Vaccination of Detainees

Emergency plans should include the following:

  • Explicit responsibilities for staff by position title
  • Contact information at the jails and health departments
  • Vaccination procedures
  • Backup plans for each step of the plan
  • Estimated time frames

Contact Us

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