SCSO announces resolution regarding inmates’ COVID-19 lawsuit

Shelby County Jail
Shelby County Jail(WMC)
Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 3:38 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has announced a tentative resolution has been reached after the agency was accused of not protecting inmates from COVID-19 back in May.

SCSO requested to dismiss the lawsuit in June, but a federal judge denied the request allowing inmates to proceed with their lawsuit seeking to be released amid the pandemic.

On Wednesday, SCSO says they have been working with the Shelby County Health Department to provide the best care possible for inmates in their custody.

Some of the implementations mentioned in SCSO’s release on the resolution include:

  • provide inmates with two facial coverings which will be upgraded when needed
  • provide inmates with free access to cleaning products and soap
  • quarantine all new detainees for 14 days until approved to enter the general population by medical personnel
  • offer all detainees a COVID-19 test by the 12th day of their incarceration
  • offer a test to detainees with symptoms consistent with the virus
  • isolate any detainees who test positive for the virus or have symptoms and refuse to take a test

SCSO says the jail is currently housing 400 fewer inmates than the beginning of 2020 to reduce the spread of the virus within the jail population.

The agency also plans to get an upgraded ventilation system to help eliminate airborne viruses and hire an inspector for further assistance.

SCSO hopes to offer the vaccine to detainees once it becomes available in the coming months.

The resolution is tentative as it awaits the approval of a federal judge.

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