Gov. Whitmer Signs Order to Protect Jail, Juvenile Detention Populations from Coronavirus
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on Sunday to protect people currently in jails, local lockups and juvenile detention centers during the coronavirus crisis.
Her recommendations have already been implemented in state prisons, but her guidance will now be mandated in county jails and local lockups.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, risk-reduction protocols include:
- Screening everyone who enters or leaves a facility, including staff, offenders and vendors.
- Restricting all visits, except for attorney-related visits.
- Limiting off-site appointments except for urgent or emergency medical treatment.
- Developing and implementing a protocol for incarcerated persons with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Providing appropriate personal protective equipment to all staff as recommended by the CDC to the fullest extent possible.
- Instituting stringent cleaning of all areas and surfaces on a regular and ongoing basis.
- Ensuring access to adequate personal-hygiene supplies.
- Practicing social distancing in all programs and classrooms.
- Minimizing crowding.
The order also temporarily stops transfers between Michigan Department of Corrections facilities.
It will also give local leaders more flexibility and decision-making power about releasing vulnerable populations who do not pose a threat to public safety.
Gov. Whitmer in a press release:
“The health and safety of all Michiganders remains our top priority during this public health crisis and that includes those incarcerated in our jails and juvenile detention centers. It is challenging for inmates and employees to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this Executive Order will put commonsense protocols into place to protect our jail and juvenile detention center populations.”
To view executive order in its entirety, click the link below: