How is COVID-19 Impacting Arizona Prisons?
Covid-19 in Arizona prisons is a serious matter.
It’s changed life for inmates and has brought an extra measure of anxiety to their daily lives.
The prisons are attempting to mitigate the spread of the virus with medical care, precautions, and testing.
Are face masks provided in Arizona prisons to prevent the spread of Covid-19?
Yes. The CDC recommends that all correctional facilities provide face coverings for inmates.
In Arizona prisons all inmates are required to wear masks when leaving their immediate living area.
The prison staff is also required to wear masks and must pass temperature and symptom checks before entering any facility.
Are inmates being tested?
Yes. The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (ADCRR) has taken on the responsibility of testing the entire prison population for Covid-19.
They’re one of the few agencies in the country to do so.
Re-testing is also done when an inmate displays flu-like symptoms.
Inmates in Arizona prisons who have tested positive for covid-19 have isolated living quarters and don’t interact with the general population. Food, medicine, and medical services are delivered to them.
David Shinn, the director of the ADCRR told KTAR News that it’s impossible to keep Covid-19 out of Arizona prisons, but that the recovery rate is 99%.
Is visiting still allowed in Arizona prisons?
No. Because of the pandemic, visiting in person with an inmate is not allowed in Arizona prisons. This is a measure taken by the ADCRR to help protect the health of the inmates.
Video calls are allowed for those with visitation rights and no fee is associated with that. Inmates also receive two additional free 15-minute phone calls each week.
This does present challenges for many inmates because they’re only able to talk with one family member at a time. This regulation will be reevaluated on a monthly basis.
What are the inmates of Arizona prisons saying about Covid-19?
They are scared. When a life-threatening virus shows up in a facility that requires you to stay put, that’s naturally going to make people fearful. As of December 14, 2020, there have been 26 confirmed inmate deaths in Arizona, according to the ADCRR dashboard.
Nearly 100 letters were written to the Arizona Republic by inmates between March and September asking for help.
They expressed concern that not enough measures were being taken to protect them from contracting Covid-19 while in prison and that essential supplies were not being received.
Stay Safe with Good Legal Representation
The safest thing to do in this situation is to stay out of prison altogether with excellent legal representation on your side.
Todd Coolidge has protected the rights of many Arizona citizens with his services.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges, contact the offices of Mr. Coolidge today—keep yourself safe, healthy, and out of Arizona prisons during this Covid-19 pandemic.
photo by Jody Davis, taken from pixabay on 1/1/2021