In the past 11 days, the state prison system has closed three prison facilities to reorganize staff and respond to the increase in COVID-19 cases, partly due to the establishment of a medical emergency room.
Prison Commissioner Todd Ishee said on Monday that all three closures are temporary, although he also said that the state budget may be cut next year, which is difficult to guarantee.
The system completely stopped the operation of Randolph Correctional Center. It closed the minimum security forces at the Southern Correctional Institution in Montgomery County and the Piedmont Correctional Institution in Ron County, although other troops there remained open.
Iser said that the Southern Correctional Institution has turned some of its regular beds into hospital beds, so it can be used as a medical emergency room. He said many of Randolph̵
Prison spokesperson John Bull said that as of Monday morning, only 10 of the approximately 30,000 prisoners in the system were hospitalized due to COVID-19. But Bull said that other prisoners also enter and leave the hospital due to other problems. The system hopes to minimize the number of prisoners sent to regular hospitals. Now, the regular population of the state, especially in rural areas, has increased the burden due to the surge in COVID.
“This is a panoramic picture with a lot of moving parts, but the prison is trying to better rely on its medical staff, because the number of long-term vacancies has decreased, so the number of criminals who need to go to external facilities has decreased,” said.
“We need additional personnel and additional medical staff,” Bull said. “There is a serious shortage of care. We need to use them with maximum professional competence.”
WBTV first reported the shutdown in Charlotte. Ishee gave a longer presentation to members of the Legislative Oversight Committee on Monday morning and included Boer. Bull (Bull) said in a press release last week that more mergers may be needed. “
When it comes to COVID prevention measures, the state’s prison system is under a court order, and Wake County Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier plans to conduct a state hearing on the case on Friday morning.
Ishee provided lawmakers with an update on some COVID issues in the state prison system on Monday. The committee also listened to unrelated proposals that the legislature will consider when it meets next year, including a proposal to increase the salaries of correctional officers. A long-standing problem. Staff shortage.
Isch told lawmakers that the system is ready to deliver COVID vaccine. He said that the system has not been told when it will be available, but will be ready in December.
According to the state’s vaccination plan, prisons (especially staff and elderly and sick inmates) will be one of the top priorities for obtaining vaccines, in addition to nursing homes, other gathering places of living and severe cases of COVID Of high-risk groups.
Ishi told lawmakers that prison staff are now being tested for viruses in high-risk locations every 14 days, and 5% of staff and prisoners within the system are randomly tested every month. According to Ishee, due to COVID-19 positive or exposure agreement, as of November 24, 318 employees of the system were unemployed.
Ishee also said that the state has purchased 3,035 iWave air purifiers for all its prison facilities and that many hospitals are using the technology. He told members that when the general assembly meets in January, he expects the system to request additional budgets.
He said: “We have been spending a lot of money.”