The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has cause mass hysteria and panic worldwide. Schools have been cancelled, sports leagues have suspended play, and an increasing number of people have caught the coronavirus in the United States. As of now there have been just over 1,600 cases of coronavirus nationwide, which have resulted in 41 deaths. The virus saw its first outbreak in Wuhan, China and has been spreading worldwide at an alarming pace. Italy, Spain and other countries are going into complete lockdowns to try to curb the spread of coronavirus. The state of Michigan has seen less than 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, but this number is expected to increase. The risk of disease spreading is always higher in places where people are in close quarters like jails and prisons.
Challenges Facing Michigan’s Jails
Jail inmates don’t have the option to just head outside when they want or go pick up some hand sanitizer from their local supermarket. They also aren’t able to control who they are around and be able to distance themselves in the best possible way to remain healthy. Some of the measures necessary to prevent the spread of disease are simply impossible within the walls of our Michigan jails and prisons. Oakland County Jail alone houses anywhere from 1,200 to 1,300 inmates on any given day. Most jails also don’t have N-95 masks to protect staff members from disease either.
How Quickly Disease Can Spread In Jail
Jails regularly deal with issues from communicable diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis A, the flu and MRSA. Coronavirus is the latest disease to bring the level of caution and alarm way up within the walls of jails and prisons. People that are newly incarcerated along with jail staffers pose the biggest risk for infection of the general population of a jail or prison. These are the people that have the biggest possibility of bringing the disease in with them from the outside. People are in forced, close quarters with each other constantly in jail. Jails are muggy and are not designed to allow a lot of fresh air in and out of them. This type of environment is the type that allows disease to spread quickly. The possibility for a coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak within jails is high.
What Is Being Done To Help
Currently jails and prisons are undergoing massive cleanups. High-traffic areas are being cleaned and sanitized more often with stronger cleaning solutions. Genesee County Jail, for example, is using a hospital grade disinfectant all over its jail twice a day to battle the transmission of disease like coronavirus COVID-19. Hand sanitizer is not as readily available to inmates as you might think. A trustee at Oakland County jail recently gathered enough hand sanitizer to get himself drunk off of the alcohol in it. Most jails consider hand sanitizer to be contraband and will not allow inmates to have or use hand sanitizer. Some jails have areas where they can quarantine inmates if they are found to be sick, while others will have to send inmates to the local hospital if they need to quarantine the inmate and are unable to. More testing kits are being made available, but the testing kits up to this have been extremely limited everywhere, not just in jails and prisons.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.