Friday, October 30, 2020

CDCR’s 4-phase Roadmap to Reopening , to be disclosed later this year

 In response to the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and out of an abundance of caution, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services  (CCHCS)  have  been  taking  necessary  precautions  to  reduce  risk  of  exposure  to  both  inmates and staff and to mitigate morbidity and mortality related to the disease.

The  purpose  of  this  BLOG is  to  provide  updated    information   since  March 20, 2020, (closing of CDCR visits) and to update some initial activities associated with beginning a  four-phased approach (4 Phase)  to   reopening   operations   within   CDCR   that   is   consistent   with   he   Governor’s Roadmap to Reopening California.  

The Roadmap lays out 4 phases of opening, Phase 1, the most restrictive - basically, noting going on. Various activities are made available and restrictions lifted in the remaining 3 phases, until Phase 4, promises “Return to ‘new’ normal program for all staff and the population.” No indications what the ‘new’ normal will be.

Details of Phase 2 Operations within CDCR/CCHCS are available in the Roadmap to Reopening Plan, which will be distributed later this year. In general, operations during Phase 2 are still restricted to include, but not be limited to, modified reception  center  intake  to  allow  adequate  social  distancing  and  separation  of  populations, transfer to camps and essential health care related transfers and encounters. Additional details for screening, housing, testing and basic strategies to reduce spread of COVID-19 infections are

As of October 2020, the official acceptance of CDCR’s Roadmap to Reopening still has not yet been publicly released, but conditions will be laid out therein, will be, those governing quotas for reopening of the prisons. Each prisons will be similar to the different counties we have experienced in the State of California, with different opening rules, (based on COVID19 cases or lack thereof). Reopening with CDCR (prisons) meaning the reinstatement of visiting, programs and other things that pass for ‘normal’ inside.

Of prime interest is the reopening of visiting, which the Roadmap provides can be expected in Phase 2, with very restrictive guidelines will reopen with  one visitor per inmate for an hour visit once a month, with staggered visiting schedule, mandatory masks, tables/chairs 6 feet apart and, reportedly, no personal contact (read hugs, kisses). This phase also may include the entrance of some outside vendors, non-essential contracts—read possibly some programs.

Phase 3 could see an expansion of visiting, 2 visitors per prisoner, twice a month, remaining restrictions apply. This would also include the re-opening of family visits, for one family visit per week per unit. Other restrictions regarding yard access, day room access and workers would be eased as well.
The key to the Roadmap is that each prison’s reopening will be decided by the local administration, in consultation with Sacramento and subject to guidelines as to where that institution is in the CoVid situation. Again similar to guidelines we encountered throughout 2020 in the State of CA and its different counties.

For example:  (The Roadmad has not yet been published and the example is subject to change)

Phase 2 calls for a ‘contained’ CoVid outbreak, which includes no new CoVid cases (inmate or staff) in a “rolling 14-day cumulative case rate.”

To move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 will require no new cases in a 60-day period and no current positive inmates.

Phase 3 to Phase 4, the establishment of the ‘new normal,’ calls for no new or positive cases for 90 days, but the possible continuation of precautionary measures like face masks and extra cleanings.

As of now, the end of October, no prison yet qualifies for the move from Phase 1 to Phase 2.  

A big Thank You to the CDCR department’s website for some transparency of the information along with Vanessa from Life Support Alliance (a.k.a. LSA) who continues to be a wealth of information for the inmate Population and their Loved ones!