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DOC takes steps to protect inmates from COVID-19

As part of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry response to the evolving CDC guidelines regarding face coverings, ADCRR will be distributing fabric face coverings to all employees over the next few days. On Friday, the CDC recommended that essential staff wear non-medical (non-PPE) cloth face coverings to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID19. 

The face coverings are being made by inmates at Perryville, Douglas, and Florence complexes through the Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI) garment program, which has been in operation for more than 30 years.  The department is making enough so each employee will receive two face coverings. ACI, a division of the ADCRR, was developed more than 35 years ago to provide structured programming to create opportunities for offenders to develop marketable skills and strong work habits. ACI inmate programs allow inmates to be paid for their work.

Thus far, more than 8,000 face coverings have been made, with more being made over the coming weeks. 

“This is a testament to the impact our ACI programs provide, and the contributions our inmate population makes in this time of need,” said David Shinn, ADCRR Director. “As our employees enter our complex facilities for work, the face coverings will provide an extra level of protection to reduce the risk of any potential spread to our inmate population. We also continue to encourage all employees and inmates to monitor themselves and others for COVID-19 symptoms, stay home if feeling ill, practice physical distancing whenever possible and remain vigilant in washing hands regularly. It will take all of us doing our part to protect those at high risk, and support keeping our employees and inmates safe and healthy.”  

Of the more than 42,000 inmates in ADCRR custody and care, there are currently zero cases of COVID19. So far, 44 inmates have tested negative for COVID19, with eight COVID19 tests pending.

As part of ADCRR’s ongoing COVID19 Management Strategy, all employees entering Arizona prison complexes continue to undergo required health checks at each facility. Employees are sent home immediately if they are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms and are required to stay home if they are sick.  Following guidelines consistent with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the CDC, ADCRR continues to communicate with staff and inmates about how they can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

In accordance with CDC guidance, ADCRR continues to separate from the general inmate population any inmates exhibiting flu-like symptoms for monitoring and appropriate follow-up care. 

Get the latest information about ADCRR’s response to COVID-19 by visiting our website, https://corrections.az.gov/, and @AZCorrections on Twitter.

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