Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Addresses COVID-19 Spread in Jails, Prisons

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a supplemental state of emergency (SOE) proclamation June 9 in an effort to quell the spread of COVID-19 in state correctional facilities.

The SOE will ensure that inmates from county jails will be “processed according to prevailing medical standards,” including a 14-day quarantine.

Additionally, the SOE addresses Alabama Department of Corrections concerns by ratifying 30-day moratorium on inmate intake that was first announced March 20 and “requires county sheriffs and jails to maintain custody of state inmates until they can be safely transferred to a DOC facility.”

‘On the same team’

The SOE also ensures that counties will be reimbursed for the costs associated with housing state inmates for extended periods, provides counties – and county officials, including sheriffs – liability protection against claims brought on by the additional responsibilities placed on them by the SOE order and reiterates the governor’s commitment to the Barbour County consent decree and her desire that the DOC would return to pre-COVID-19 inmate intake levels as soon as safely possible.

“Ultimately, the proclamation is based on the idea that, legally and practically, state and county detention facilities act as players on the same team,” Gina Maiola, Gov. Ivey’s press secretary, wrote in a June 9 press release announcing the proclamation.

-TAB

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