Some inmates who fit a certain criteria could be released from Mobile County Metro Jail to help decrease numbers.

It's a precaution to keep coronavirus away from the overcrowded jail, which is a recipe for an outbreak.

“They’re in our care, custody and control. We’ve got to make sure that we take care of them,” said Sheriff Sam Cochran.

Cochran hopes the move will help decrease the chance of another inmate or guard contracting the virus.

Since there are no confirmed cases in Metro Jail so far. Cochran said deputies are working to keep new inmates from bringing it in.

“Every new inmate that’s brought into the jail, we check their temperature. If they have temperature, then the nursing staff will evaluate them for further indicators of having the coronavirus,” Sheriff Cochran explained.

Metro Jail

Mobile County Metro Jail

Cochran said there are three different crews that disinfect the entire jail daily.

He added that guards sanitize often and wear protective gear around the inmates.

"Much of these protocols we’ve practiced for years and years. Our corrections officers will wear a facial mask, they will wear gloves on their hands and sanitize themselves frequently whenever they handle prisoners,” Cochran said.

If there is a positive case found in Metro Jail, there's already a plan in place.

“If we suspect someone of having the coronavirus, we immediately outfit them with a N-95 facial mask and then put them in a cell where they are isolated and have medical personnel watch them very carefully and closely. We’ll also identify other people that may have been around them so if they do in fact have it we can make the proper notifications,” Sheriff Cochran explained.

Cochran said only inmates who meet a certain criteria will be released right now.

“Maybe stuff like public drunkenness or loitering but again they’ve got to be 60 years or older,” Cochran said. "They may be allowed to sign their own bond. I believe that’s something that has just been implemented. Beyond that no one else is being released.”

The Sheriff added that deputies on the streets will also be taking their own precautions.

FOX 10 News reached out to the Alabama Department of Corrections concerning precautions being taken at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, but we haven't heard back yet.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.


Toi Thornton is a Reporter. His Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism comes from Dillard University in 2014 and his Master's degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in 2016. He previously worked as the Fox anchor in Lafayette, LA.

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