In Jail During a Pandemic: Is it Safe?
Jails Face a Unique Set of Challenges During a Pandemic:
- Social distancing is not possible in a jail or prison, simply due to a lack of space.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for is not available, and in most cases not allowed for those in custody.
- Correctional facilities are overcrowded, and often known for poor sanitary conditions.
Incarceration can be a scary thing for you or a loved one, but many jails are doing their best to take extra precautions, and in some cases are implementing early release so that jails do not become unnecessarily overcrowded so that we can all remain protected in this time.
Virus Screening / Isolation
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Clark County Jail has taken steps to ensure that everyone coming through their system has been screened by trained personnel familiar with Corona Virus symptoms, and they are actively monitoring the health of everyone for indications that they may be positive for Covid 19. Individuals who present with any symptoms of the virus may be isolated and kept away from others to prevent the spread of the disease. That doesn’t mean that any system is perfect, and as we have all learned individuals who show no symptoms of the virus may still be positive carriers, but increased efforts to protect the public health are reason to be hopeful.
Jails are also under increased scrutiny because they can be a potential breeding ground for disease if they are not taking the appropriate precautions, which is why many legislatures are arguing for important measures like offering early release so that they do not become overcrowded or can alleviate some overcrowding that may already exist. Overcrowded prisons make social-distancing measures difficult to impossible, and may exacerbate the speed at which disease can spread, especially when personal protective equipment is not readily available.
Cleaning practices can also have a huge influence on whether prisons remain a safe space for those who are in them. According to fox5vegas, Clark County is working on enhancing their cleaning protocols and trying to take extra precautions to ensure that personal living spaces and communal spaces are sanitized and disinfected appropriately. They are also screening staff and other personnel to ensure that carriers are less likely to bring the virus into the prison, but again this system can be imperfect, and even with the best practices in place exposure to the virus is still possible.
While extra precautions are being taken to ensure that correctional facilities are less crowded and appropriate sanitization practices are put in place it can still be a scary and overwhelming place to be during a pandemic, and the most successful efforts are being seen when early release and other measures to limit people’s exposure to a prison environment are taken. It can feel daunting to know that you or a loved one could be exposed to a prison during this time, but any effort to limit the amount of exposure, including early release can be extremely helpful. Extra precautions like screening and isolating positive cases are also being implemented to ensure that as few people as possible are exposed to the virus while they do remain in the prison system.
While no practices are perfect, we are all working on flattening the curve and slowing the spread of the coronavirus together. Any individuals who are going through the prison system today deserve the same level of dignity and protection, and have the right to practice social distancing and keep themselves safe and healthy in a clean and uncrowded environment. As prisons take steps to keep their facilities safe and clean, we can all do our part to stay home, keep in touch with our loved ones, and urge prisons to continue to follow policies like early release so that we all have the opportunity to keep ourselves safe.
We hope that by facilitating the bail bond process we can bring some measure of comfort to you and your loved ones in these trying times. For more information on how we can help simplify your bail bonds contact us today!