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Georgia Department of Corrections Coronavirus (COVID - 19) Response

Commissioner: 
Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Joan Heath
Contact Email: 
Joan.Heath@gdc.ga.gov
Date: 
March 16, 2020
STATE OF GEORGIA

Georgia Department of Corrections Coronavirus (COVID - 19) Response

Facilities Update

FORSYTH, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is responding with all available resources to help prevent the potential introduction and spread of Coronavirus (COVID - 19) into our facilities.  As we continue to work closely with Governor Kemp’s office, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to coordinate the appropriate response to this evolving situation, the GDC has implemented a phased approach, to include planning and education, preparedness and response.

Specific protocols have been put in place to proactively address the health and welfare of those in our custody, to include the following:

  • Suspended visitation through April 10, 2020
  • Suspended volunteer visits to facilities, out of an abundance of caution
  • Partnered with Securus Technologies and JPay to provide each offender with the following, until further notice:
    • one free fifteen-minute phone call each week beginning March 14, 2020
    • two free e-stamps each week beginning March 17, 2020
  • Waived $5.00 medical co-pay for offenders exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, effective March 13, 2020, until further notice
  • Quantities of hand soap and hand sanitizer have been increased at all facilities
  • Enhanced sanitation and cleaning protocols at all facilities, and for all transportation vehicles, to include designating additional Sanitation Officers
  • Enhanced medical screening protocols for staff, contractors, vendors, or any individual entering our facilities
  • Enhanced screening process for offenders
  • Enhanced diagnostic intake screening for offenders entering GDC custody
    • Symptomatic offenders with exposure risk factors will be isolated and tested for COVID-19 per health authority protocols
  • Temporarily suspending attorney visits, although individual cases will be reviewed
  • Suspended non-essential offender movement across GDC facilities, effective March 3, 2020, until further notice
  • Ongoing notification and education of staff and inmate population
  • Suspended all facility tours through April 10, 2020

The GDC remains committed to staff and inmate safety and welfare, and as more information develops related to additional mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will be responding accordingly.  Additional updates will be provided via our website and social media channels.

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About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 54,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov


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