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Colorado DOC updates prevention plan for COVID-19

Posted: 5:57 PM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-23 20:06:31-04
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COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Corrections has been actively working to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the prison system and have updated their prevention plan, per release.

Currently the department has tested 9 inmates, six of those tests were negative and the 3 other tests are still pending results. The department does have additional tests available that can be used if any inmate begins to show symptoms.

“It is critical that we do everything possible to keep COVID-19 out of our corrections system in order to protect our staff, inmates and parolees,” said Dean Williams, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. “The introduction of COVID-19 into the corrections system could have devastating results, so we have taken decisive action to try and prevent the introduction of the virus, while still protecting public safety. We will continue to work with our partners across the state to best manage this crisis. I am grateful for the dedicated men and women who work in DOC facilities and offices across the state who have truly risen to the occasion in managing this crisis.”

The DOC is announcing additional adjustments in order to best protect and support our staff, inmates and parolees.

The department will work with GTL, a phone vendor, on video visitation options. In addition, GTL has agreed to provide inmates with 1 FREE 10-minute phone call per week during this COVID-19 crisis.

In accordance with the Governor’s order to reduce the in-person workforce by 50 percent, the Department of Corrections headquarters in Colorado Springs has physically closed. Headquarters team members will be covering essential needs and will be working remotely. A small number of staff will continue to work in the building to support critical needs that cannot be done remotely.

On Monday, the Department of Corrections facilities and parole offices have begun to implement staffing plans that will limit the amount of staff in facilities and offices at any given time while ensuring the safety and continuity of operations. Staffing numbers will differ from facility to facility due to security levels, physical plant, and programs, however appointing authorities have maximized scheduling to the greatest extent possible. The parole offices are implementing staffing plans that will allow for remote work while still maintaining appropriate and necessary supervision of parolees.

CDOC is also temporarily suspending arrests of parolees for low level technical parole violations in an effort to not overload the jails and our correctional institutions.