As the national COVID-19 numbers increase, we are not immune. In an abundance of caution, we have taken steps to contain the spread by instituting quarantines on housing units.
Quarantining housing units is in the best interest of our employees and our inmates. Instituting quarantines on housing units is essentially forcing the practice of social distancing. We must take this step to contain the virus within an “exposed” area in hopes of keeping it from spreading throughout the facility. Taking this action is consistent with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ current response to COVID-19.
When quarantines happen, individuals housed in those housing units will be closely monitored by medical staff and limited to scheduled movement within the unit to ensure social distancing and lessen the risk of exposure and contamination.
If you are concerned about an inmate that might be in crisis, please call and ask for the medical staff on duty.
Si usted estás preocupado de uno de los residentes que podría estar en crisis, llame al 610-793-1510 ext. 3225 o pida hablar con el personal medico del turno en servicio.
In the interest of public safety, inmate visitation is closed to the public. All non-essential activity will cease at the Prison and the Correctional Center. All volunteer services have also been suspended.
Attorneys and professional visitors are encouraged to visit with their clients during regular business hours. Visits outside of business hours will need to be scheduled by calling the facility to coordinate a visit.
COVID- 19 and Chester County Prison
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, just like the flu or a cold, through the air by coughing or sneezing; through close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands; by touching an object or surface with the viruses on it; and occasionally, through fecal contamination.
As news regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, we have been working closely with the County Health Department, Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to monitor COVID-19 conditions, and make informed decisions in an effort to ensure the well-being of Chester County Prison Staff and those incarcerated.
We continuously review and as needed, amend Prison protocols in an effort to minimize the potential spread of illness to staff and those incarcerated.
Staff and those incarcerated are continuously advised to follow the same community-based practices that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu and other illnesses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces.
Existing and procedural changes put into effect since the declaration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency:
- All staff, professional visitors and new commitments are given a temperature check prior to admission into the facility.
- The intake housing process for new commitments was increased to a minimum of 14 days.
- Medical Co-Pay fees are suspended during this time.
- Hygiene items are available at no cost.
- An entire cellblock has been dedicated as a medical isolation unit.
- Every effort is made to maintain recreation schedules. However, circumstances dictate that we review schedules for options and alternatives in an effort to create established social distancing recommendations to reduce potential exposure.
- The ability to make cost-free phone calls twice per week to friends and family in order to maintain community relations.
- Complimentary commissary items being distributed.
- Prison Chaplaincy continues to be a resource for those who request.
- Elevated levels of cleaning throughout the facility.
- In conjunction with the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, the prison population is continually reviewed for those individuals who, upon review of their legal status, may be eligible for an alternative to incarceration.
- New booking fee charges are suspended as of April 1, 2020. Booking fee payments on past balances will not be collected for those individuals currently incarcerated. This will allow for all incarcerated individuals who are otherwise eligible to have access to the phone and commissary services. This will be in effect until further notice.
Our priority is the health and well-being of all. We will remain vigilant regarding the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and will keep all parties educated as additional changes are recommended, to prevent the spread and treatment of COVID-19.
Your understanding is greatly appreciated during this unprecedented time.