Dear COBA Members;
As you all know, due to Covid restrictions, CDC guidelines and an urging from our Medical Director, B3-B4 and B5 were all closed back at the end of January to stem the rate of Covid positive cases in our facility. Those inmates were moved to the 832 upon completion of the installation of the sewage treatment “Muffin Monsters”, so they could be behind glass cell doors.
There was a lot of misinformation being spread after those moves, that our Officer Covid rates spiked shortly afterward. This was not the case. In the month prior to the January moves, 76 Officers tested positive for Covid. In the month after the moves we had 34 Officers test positive. The positivity rate dropped by more than half.
What concerns COBA is that we believe there are certain inmates who belong on linear tiers for better control of their movement, not able to move freely about in an open dorm as in the 832.
The Sheriff and I have had different opinions on how to best control the movement of certain types of inmates.
But, the safety and security of our facility and staff is always paramount.
With that, the Sheriff agreed that once the Covid rate was stabilized he would open B3 again for use as a relief valve for incorrigible inmates in the 832.
We had hoped to be able to use the new Tek84 Body Scanners for the moves but the State Dept. of Health is dragging its feet on final approval. They are apparently completely consumed with the vaccination rollout across the State.
In an effort to not drag the issue along any further the Sheriff agreed that Wednesday EF2 will close and B3 will open.
We all hope that this move will address the security concerns that we have all heard loud and clear from our members in all ranks.