Since February 2, 2020 DOC has been screening every inmate booked into a DOC facility for COVID-19. On February 3, 2020 the DOC Infectious Disease Response Team held its first tabletop exercise for coronavirus response and has been meeting at least weekly since that time. A clinical care guide for DOC medical staff has been in place since 2/27 and a full departmental response plan was drafted March 4. On March 23 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued its Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities. The Department was pleased to see that the safeguards already put in place in Alaska met the standards issued by the CDC.
Access to Institutions
- Effective 3/13/2020, all visiting at institutions statewide has been temporarily suspended. This includes outside volunteers, attorneys and other tours and groups who routinely come into the institutions.
- Effective 3/18, all non-essential activity at all institutions statewide including contract services have been temporarily suspended. Limited chaplaincy services remain at each institution.
- Effective 3/23, Ketchikan Correctional Center and the Ketchikan Probation Office have begun screening all staff and any essential contractor who enter the facility. This will be done each time an individual reports to work and before they are allowed entrance into either the facility or the administrative area.
- Effective 3/24, all DOC Facilities statewide are to screen all employees and essential contractors at the start of every shift prior to entering the facility. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4F or higher, or anyone who chooses to refuse having their temperature checked will not be permitted into the facility.
- Effective 3/24, all inmates will be screened prior to transferring from one facility to another. Screening will include questions related to symptoms and recent travel, as well as a temperature check. Inmates with temperatures higher than 100.4F will not be transferred and will be taken to medical for further screening.
- Effective 3/24, all institutional lobbies will be closed to the public. As a result, in-person bail and in-person contributions to Offender Trust Account funds have been suspended at this time. Bail should be paid either at the Courthouse or mailed to the institution with a money order or certified check. Contributions to OTA funds should also be mailed to the institution with a money order or certified check. Both items should clearly state the individuals name and offender number. For address information, visit the DOC Institutions page.
DOC is committed to keeping the people in our custody connected with their loved ones and educated on the COVID-19 situation as it evolves. Effective 3/19, DOC is providing two free 15-minute phone calls per inmate per week while visitation is suspended. Additionally, the following video was played for the inmate population to keep them educated and informed of the situation at hand.
For further information about COVID-19 in Alaska, please visit the Department of Health and Social Services: Covid-19
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