Coffee Creek gave her the option to either extend her release date until November to complete the program or to just receive a certificate of completion and get out on her originally scheduled release date, in July. Caption Moser said she has been hospitalized twice at Coffee Creek due to her anemia, which has compromised her immune system. Reports of poor conditions and treatment of inmates inside some of Georgia’s prisons is a humanitarian crisis according to the Southern Center for Human Rights, which calls for a Department of Justice investigation as suicide rates rise and recent large-scale riots have broken out. This is the first COVID-related inmate death at CEN and the 94th statewide. Judy Godfrey says her family frequently called up to the Pulaski State Prison pressing for her daughter to get tested after she developed a cough and dealt with a loss of taste and smell this summer. Related: Prisons Have Oregon's Largest COVID Outbreak But Testing, Social Distancing Remain Scarce. She said her group tried to continue as much of the programming activities on their own as they could. I have a 6-year-old son and I could have died in that car accident. Please consider making a gift today to support this vital public service. According to the Washington Department of Corrections, 932 inmates and 372 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at correctional facilities within the state. “Just being stuck in that cell by myself to deal for that period of time was causing some trauma for me.”, “Even though there were inmates who were obviously sick, some of them said that they would just rather wait it out in a dorm rather than be thrown into a cell where there’s total isolation,” Harkins said. And so I have to change. For several weeks, the 43-year-old from Helen said prison staff only allowed him to take a few showers and that he received little medical care while he remained alone in a cell after testing positive for the coronavirus. Related: COVID-19 Situation Worsens Inside Oregon Prisons, “When the Department of Corrections admits that they can’t implement necessary preventative measures like social distancing, that means that they’re not providing a safe environment for the people in their care,” she said. In nursing and personal care homes, there are 32,536 resident cases of COVID-19, and 6,437 cases among employees, for a total of 38,973 at 1,228 distinct facilities in64 counties. Coffee Creek Correctional Institution in Wilsonville is Oregon's only women's prison. “I’m taking more medication and have more trauma to process now once I go home,” Pace said. Herivel, and the other attorneys she’s working with, are arguing that Oregon’s prisons and jails are dangerous without proper social distancing or personal protective equipment. All programming was gone — education, religious service and recovery support,” Pace said. Oregon's largest coronavirus outbreak is linked to the state's prison system. About 900 Georgia prison staffers also contracted the viral infection that’s so far killed two corrections employees as of Monday, according to the department’s COVID-19 dashboard . Tara Herivel, the lead attorney on the cases, is working with inmates at Coffee Creek and with incarcerated Oregonians statewide in prisons and jails including the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Umatilla, Deer Ridge Correctional Facility in Madras and the Jackson County jail. The Oregon Department of Corrections said that all of its AIP programs have now been restarted at Coffee Creek as of May, with the exception of one — the program that Pace and Bruno were both in. “It’s already hard being in prison when you’re trying to change, when you’re really trying to make the best out of a bad situation,” Bruno said. MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — At the Bibb Correctional Facility in Alabama, the old prison chapel has been turned into a quarantine zone. “When COVID hit, our clients became very alarmed about the fact that they’re in the absolute worst environment for the most part, in addition to, the environments like folks who are working in food processing and people who are in nursing homes — those and prisons are the top three most risky environments to be in for COVID, because it’s impossible to really implement social distancing,” she said. The organization and some legislators are calling for investigations into Georgia's prison system as suicide rates rise and recent large-scale riots have broken out at some prisons. Sign up to receive GPB Event announcements via Email. The state estimates that 1,425 people have recovered from the virus, and 135,721 people have been tested for COVID-19.. Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. “The state was poised to facilitate these folks returning home,” Simon with ACLU of Oregon said of the women in Coffee Creek’s AIPs whose release dates have already passed. Facilities that do not have current, originating cases of COVID-19 will begin opening in-person professional visitation as early as next week. She made it through Phase 1 of her program and had another phase to complete that was focused on coping skills. The human rights center’s accusations spurred a letter from state Rep. Josh McLaurin and 16 other members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus to request that state Corrections Commissioner Timothy Ward order an investigation. She’s pushing for the state prisons to provide better hygienic and cleaning supplies to inmates. Coffee Correctional is approximately one mile on the left. He was receiving treatment at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester when he passed away. The Missouri Department of Corrections has implemented procedures to protect staff and offenders during the COVID-19 public health crisis. United States, © Copyright 2020, Georgia Public Broadcasting. “Yes, I put myself here. “The regular DOC councilors came in, [Behavioral Health Service] came in, the soda machine guy came in, and he’s a contractor, so that’s really strange to me,” Bruno said. As the days went by and his cough worsened, he got diarrhea and began experiencing chills, which finally led to him getting tested for COVID-19. Bruno’s release was originally set for the end of August, at the end of her participation in the recovery program. “At least in the dorm, they’ll be able to talk to their loved ones so they can know what’s going on.”. “We want to raise the volume for folks in prison so they’re not just forgotten about.”. Elizabeth Pace was three months into a six-month trauma-focused program when it was halted. 12/06/2020: An incarcerated person from Substance Abuse Treatment Facility died on Dec. 6 from what appear to be complications of COVID-19. Caption About half of Georgia’s prison population is African American, one the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease. “I’m hopeful that I make it through until then without getting sick,” Moser said. Harkins is among the current and former state prison inmates, civil rights organizations, and other inmate rights advocates accusing the Georgia Department of Corrections of not providing proper protections. Four crews of 10 from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility who have been fighting fires since Sept. 7 17 crews of 10 from South Fork Forest … Since then, the board is back to letting out the roughly 850 inmates it does on in an average month, spokesman Steve Hayes said. Since March, the inmate population in Georgia’s prisons and other DOC facilities have dipped by about 11%, from 55,025 to currently about 49,000, according to figures from the corrections department. PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - More than 100 SUNY Plattsburgh students are in quarantine after a spike in COVID cases in Clinton County. All employees are also screened for symptoms when they enter a facility. We’re going to not allow contractors to come in — which are the councilors for the treatment program — and we’re going to take your guys’ [release] date, the date you’ve worked so hard for, that you guys have not gotten in any trouble for, that we told you you were going to have, we’re going to pull it,’” Bruno said. The outbreak at the St. Denver Public Library, Active, Other, Library, Denver County, 11/11/2020, 3 positive staff cases 46. “This was not an easy decision for leadership at DOC. “I made the choice to do 48 months with AIP to change my life,” Bruno said. “When that judge asked me the reasoning as to why I was in a car accident and the only reason I could have was that I was high. Also, on Friday, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus among inmates at Limestone Correctional Facility. Oregon U.S. District Court Judge Stacie Beckerman issued an opinion June 1 finding that the corrections agency has “responded reasonably to the serious risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” but that case is still ongoing. The Georgia prison with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 was Coffee Correctional Facility, the state Department of Corrections reported Sunday. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. PRUNTYTOWN, W.Va. – The Pruntytown Correctional Facility had an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases as of Sunday’s count. Everybody makes mistakes.”, “And, it’s hard to be pulled around like you’re nothing, and it’s hard when the people that are supposed to be taking care of you, like DOC — you’re supposed to feel safe, and it’s hard when you don’t.”. A spokesman for CoreCivic said it closely followed the COVID mitigation plan and public health authorities’ guidance even before the first reported infections at its detention centers. Susan Sparks Burns, started the Facebook group “They Have No Voice” in 2019 to spread the word about inmates’ experiences behind bars. Atlanta, GA 30318 Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. On Thursday, a 66-year-old incarcerated man at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault died of COVID, and a 63-year-old from the Moose Lake facility … Alicia Bruno opted to enter an AIP at Coffee Creek after being charged with felony theft and felony third-degree assault charges, linked to reckless driving in 2018. All Rights Reserved. Sneeze/Cough Guard Masks Being Distributed for Staff and Offenders. The prison had suspended the programs March 13, the same date it suspended visitors and volunteers, causing some inmates’ release dates to be postponed for months. Since March when the coronavirus made its public debut in Georgia, more than 1,870 state prison inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, with 63 reported deaths. The latest COVID-19 numbers for Valdosta City Schools as of Friday, November 13. The majority of Herivel’s cases focus on women in alternative incarceration programs, or AIPs, at Coffee Creek. With the real threat of COVID-19, we needed to limit the number of people entering the institutions,” the agency said. Bruno said participating in the program actually increased her sentence — which she said was worth it. The Taylor County Health Department has been working on any contract tracing they can assist with. HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed 11,972 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing state totals to 457,289 known cases. Gov. Bruno said even though the DOC’s reasoning for not letting the program’s councilors into the prison due to coronavirus makes sense to her, other contract workers were still allowed in Coffee Creek. “Instead, they’re locked in one of the most dangerous environments designed in a pandemic like this one — which is a prison: Congregate living, people cycling in and out, lack of personal protective equipment.”. Former Valdosta State Prison inmate Matthew Harkins says a prison nurse sent him back to his dorm in mid-July after diagnosing his dry cough and stuffy nose as allergies. With a total 12 cases involving both staff and inmates, Gov. Prisons Have Oregon's Largest COVID Outbreak But Testing, Social Distancing Remain Scarce, COVID-19 Situation Worsens Inside Oregon Prisons, Oregon's Jail Population Down 45% During COVID-19 Crisis. Even though the programs have all, for the most part, been restarted, “release dates have been impacted,” the corrections department said to OPB. “‘We’re going to have you bring up all this trauma and deal with all of this stuff and tell you you’re six months to the gate, and we’re going to rip it from you.’”. Call 303-389-1687 or (877) 462-2911 These masks are designed to reduce the amount of droplets expelled from a person’s cough or sneeze. “This COVID pandemic has resulted in gross understaffing and an understaffed prison is a dangerous place,” Burns said. Herivel said that by the time many of the habeas cases make it to court, a lot of her clients may already have been released from prison or jail. Georgia Public Radio® GPTV®, has already seen two of the largest prison outbreaks in the country at prisons in Tennessee, Kemp Extends COVID-19 Restrictions In Georgia Through Oct. 15, White House Pushes Georgia To Act Aggressively As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Emory Doctor Calls Again For Mask Mandate; Says Nation Has 'Leadership Vacuum'. Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System, called the current problem a “leadership vacuum” during a news briefing Friday morning. Georgia Department of Corrections COVID-19 Update. It’s just under two years since the completion of the new Cape May County Correctional Facility, in January 2019, replacing the facility officials said … Lately, that page features harrowing stories about the fear many inmates and their family members harbor over the prison system’s handling of a virus that can quickly spread within the confines of detention centers. Those protocols include encouraging inmates and staff to socially distance themselves as much as possible, promote handwashing and other hygienic practices, and have medical staff determine when new inmates arrive if they are infected or considered high-risk. Coffee Correctional is approximately one mile on the left. A small group of protesters showed up outside Saskatoon Correctional Centre on Tuesday morning, concerned about the treatment of inmates during an outbreak of COVID-19. Bruno said without the mental health and treatment program, she’s become depressed, hopeless and anxious. This is the sixth COVID-related inmate death at … “The DOC decides that, ‘We’re going to shut everything down. The latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force urges leaders in Georgia to test more as COVID-19 cases rise ahead of the holidays. The sound of coughing is constant. Ward wrote that his department is “committed to providing safe and secure facilities” and that it investigates all allegations and incidents. One adult in custody (AIC) has been tested for COVID-19, and the test came back negative. Your support makes this possible. CDCR/CCHCS COVID-19 Employee Status Current number of active staff cases: 2,496 Updated December 10, 2020 Chelsea Moser was half way through her treatment program, Turning Point, when it was suspended. Herivel said she and other attorneys have reached out to corrections facilities throughout the state with habeas corpus petitions and are working with about 40 cases so far. Harkins says that treatment sends the wrong message to Valdosta inmates who witnessed prison staff cracking jokes, rarely wearing masks, and downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus until a dozen staff members tested positive in early July. FORSYTH, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), in partnership with Georgia Correctional Industries (GCI), announced the production and distribution of sneeze/cough guard masks for use by staff and offenders, as an … Oregon's largest coronavirus outbreak is linked to the state's prison system. As Georgia’s bout with coronavirus infections improved since the summer, Georgia’s prisons continued to record spikes as when a recent data dump to the state health department revealed 145 new documented cases at Wheeler Correctional Facility. Wheeler, which now has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases of any prison in the correctional system, is operated by CoreCivic, which has already seen two of the largest prison outbreaks in the country at prisons in Tennessee. Related: Oregon's Jail Population Down 45% During COVID-19 Crisis. Godfrey asked that her daughter, who has recovered from COVID-19 and is back living in a quarantined dorm, not have her name published for fear of retaliation. It also contracts with the state correction department to run Coffee Correctional in Coffee County, which has had the most cases in the state’s system, and four other Georgia correctional facilities. 260 14th St. NW In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, about 100 miles southwest of Spokane. All resumed programs will incorporate public health guidance on virus mitigation, including the use of PPE, social distancing and sanitization. Credit: Hau Pham/Contributed, “They refused me mental health treatment while I was there, which is a big deal to me because I have anxiety problems and depression,” Harkins said about his Valdosta prison experience. But, Oregon attorneys are fighting that, seeking the women’s, and other inmates’, releases via legal petitions — citing the conditions that make prisons and jails so susceptible to coronavirus spread. The corrections department did not respond to several requests for comment by email and phone over more than a week from the Georgia Recorder. About 900 Georgia prison staffers also contracted the viral infection that’s so far killed two corrections employees as of Monday, according to the department’s COVID-19 dashboard. GPB is committed to bringing you comprehensive news coverage from Georgia, across the country and around the world. Many people are offered the opportunity to enter an AIP as part of a plea deal to lessen prison time. King County Correctional Facility reports 16 coronavirus cases The early years of the Seattle P-I: Seattle's oldest newspaper GIG car-share expands service to … Brian Kemp has extended social distancing and sanitization restrictions for businesses, gatherings and long-term elderly care facilities in Georgia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During that two-month window the parole board released 2,550 inmates, which included granting early releases for 918 low-level offenders who were within six months of the end of their sentences. “After two weeks, DOC administratively removed us from treatment, making us general population, so our meetings were considered unauthorized organization, and progressive discipline would be enforced if we did not cease our gatherings,” Pace said. The women said when inmates at Coffee Creek appear to have COVID-19 symptoms, they usually don’t end up reporting them, because people with symptoms are often sent into isolation. With the low instances of COVID-19 cases within the Department, State Facilities Education Activities (SFEA) Student-Inmates and adult basic education courses and NJ Step classes have resumed. Since March when the coronavirus made its public debut in Georgia, more than 1,870 state prison inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, with 63 reported deaths. DIRECTIONS FROM VALDOSTA: Take 441N to Douglas, GA; 32 East to Nicholls, GA; Turn left at the traffic light onto North Liberty Street. “All of us at the Oregon Department of Corrections value visiting and especially the connections that visiting affords to … “We have responded to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the safety and well-being of those entrusted to us and our communities,” CoreCivic spokesman Ryan Gustin said. The Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed 69 new cases of coronavirus among inmates at the North Alabama Community-Based Facility/ Community Work Center in Decatur on Tuesday. She’s concerned that will increase her risk of complications if she were to contract the coronavirus. The habeas petitions follow a federal lawsuit filed in April, in which a group of inmates argued the Oregon Department of Corrections was willfully and deliberately indifferent toward medical care for those in custody during the pandemic. The Department of Corrections confirmed that people suspected to have COVID-19 are placed into medical isolation — “a single cell with solid walls and a solid door that closes.”. Reports of poor conditions and treatment of inmates inside Georgia State Prison in Reidsvile and several other facilities is a humanitarian crisis according to the Southern Center for Human Rights. Inmates are locked in cells for days on end and sick inmates are not getting adequate care while quarantined, the inmate advocates allege. This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Georgia Recorder. She said she has to stay at Coffee Creek an extra 30 days past her original release date. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's La Palma Correctional Facility in Eloy, Arizona has reported confirmed COVID-19 cases. “My cohort sisters and I were at our most vulnerable when DOC cut us off from our councilors, our volunteers, and visitation from our families. “Unfortunately, I think some people in society are willing to let the problems of prisoners be out of sight, out of mind,” said McLaurin of Sandy Springs. The department must be more transparent and reduce the inmate population by 25% to offer more flexibility for quarantining, she added. He is now in a drug treatment program in Savannah. “My daughter has congestive heart failure so that’s why we really were adamant about getting her tested because she was doubly at risk,” she said. Bruno was specifically approved for a mental health and trauma-based treatment program. There were 4 staff members and 18 inmates who tested positive for the virus. The Department of Corrections said the organization in charge of that program chose not to restart it, citing the health and safety of its staff, though now corrections employees are taking over so inmates can continue their work. Fitzgerald pointed to explosive growth in COVID-19 cases in the community as the reason for the spike in cases at the prison. I don’t want to hurt anyone else and I don’t want to hurt myself.”. Both Pace and Bruno said Department of Corrections Behavioral Health Service workers have come in to continue some drug and alcohol treatment, but they don’t offer the same trauma-focused programming. She chose to get out in July, and said she would most likely have to continue drug treatment outside of Coffee Creek. Now, she won’t be released until October 19. MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 64-year-old man who had been incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault has died of COVID. We’re going to stop visitation. A significant part of the decline resulted from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles granting early releases on non-violent offenders in April and May in an effort to get more inmates out of jail while also taking into account the public’s safety. The Atlanta-based nonprofit mentioned extensive problems, some dating back to 2019, caused in part by severe understaffing at Georgia State Prison, Macon State Prison and Ware State Prison. DOC has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time. He is again calling on leaders to mandate face masks during this public health pandemic. Sign up to get important news and culture from around the Northwest, delivered to your inbox six days a week. “I have no doubt that the pandemic is complicating the Department of Corrections’ attempt to maintain order in its prisons, but the problem is that the Constitution, particularly the Eighth Amendment does not leave any wiggle room for whether or not prisons have adequate resources.”. That’s hard to accept, that I hurt two people, and it’s hard to accept the fact that I was high for it,” Bruno said. I made the choices I made, but I can also learn from those choices. Colorado’s call line for general questions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), providing answers in many languages including English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话) and more. In the latest series of legal actions arguing that Oregon’s prisons and jails are unsafe for incarcerated people during the coronavirus pandemic, the women say their prison sentences had been contingent on their completion of drug and alcohol treatment programs that were halted due to the pandemic. ... Two Rivers Correctional Institution, and Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Due to the coronavirus, the Oregon Department of Corrections, also known as DOC, later in March stopped visitations and halted programs that required outside contractors to come into prisons — including AIPs. He is the sixth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die of COVID, and the third from the Faribault facility. But some women at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville say that despite the risk of living in close quarters, they are being held beyond their scheduled release dates. “And that means they’re violating the constitutional rights of the people in their care who are entitled to a safe living environment.”. Former Valdosta State Prison inmate Matthew Harkins. It confirmed two new cases among staff members. Your support right now will help make OPB's essential service available to everyone who needs it. Ward, however, did send a letter to McLaurin saying the department would not respond to specific allegations from the Southern Center citing potential litigation. Harkins ended up in Valdosta prison this spring after a probation violation for failing to report for a drug test as part of his sentence for battery and false imprisonment convictions. She started it in early March, right before the full impact of COVID-19 became apparent. Denver Women's Correctional Facility, … It took more than a week to get tested because her daughter didn’t have a temperature at the time. Bruno said she was offered a choice between 36 months in prison with no drug and alcohol treatment program or 48 months with a program. Daralicia Smith Saunders fears her husband will die of COVID-19 while incarcerated at Coffeewood Correctional Facility in Culpeper County. Kelly Simon, interim legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said attorneys at her office are filing amicus briefs, or friend-of-the-court briefs, in support of Herivel’s cases. Credit: Judson McCranie/Creative Commons. The agency said that no inmates at Coffee Creek have tested positive for the coronavirus. Inmates support group offer a sounding board. “I’m 25. More flexibility for quarantining, she won ’ t want to hurt anyone else I. 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