Shelby County mayor signs executive order aimed at protecting inmates from COVID-19

Shelby County mayor signs executive order aimed at protecting inmates from COVID-19
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at protecting Shelby County inmates from COVID-19.

Harris said in a Tweet Tuesday morning that some of the country’s largest outbreaks are in jails and prisons.

His executive order requires the Division of Corrections to adopt a number of new policies, including regular access to cleaning supplies and face coverings, COVID-19 testing and remote visitation.

The executive order requires the Division of Corrections to:

  • Stop in-person visitation and provide alternatives to stay in contact with family/community.
  • Stop accepting new prisoners from out-of-county facilities unless required by state or federal law.
  • Adopt a new policy for remote/video visitation twice per week up to 50 minutes and provide free access for indigent prisoners.
  • Adopt a new policy providing reasonable and routine access to remote, video, livestream and/or streaming visitation for third-party programming providers, including educational, religious, personal growth, re-entry or other mentoring programming.
  • Continue COVID-19 screenings at facilities before allowing individuals to enter, including temperature checks and risk history. Anyone who has a risk history, high temperature or symptoms will be refused entry.
  • Review policies related to prisoner COVID-19 testing and provide testing for anyone with symptoms or exposure.
  • Provide access to medical care when prisoners exhibit symptoms.
  • Adopt a policy requiring isolation/quarantine when prisoners are sick or awaiting test results.
  • Begin a weekly distribution of masks or facial coverings to prisoners and staff and provide access for reasonable requests for replacements for free.
  • Regularly provide hand-washing and cleaning supplies.
  • Regularly disclose testing and results to health department, who will review protections and advise of additional steps.
COVID-19 surging in Shelby Co. as holiday weekend nears

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.