COVID-19 Prison Updates

Washington Prisoner Updates 4-4-2020

submitted by Puget Sound Prisoner Support

The updates are slowly coming in from different facilities. The places that are going on lock down have limited access to email and sometimes slower mail-so our updates will be fairly sporadic. This update has some good and some less than good updates in it.

*Currently, the DOC is reporting staff positive cases at:
1 at Community Corrections Section 6 (still waiting to hear which spot this is)
2 at Peninsula Work Release
1 at Washington Corrections Center
3 at Monroe Correctional Complex
1 at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (New since last update)

The DOC is still claiming that there are no positive cases among people inside the DOC, but they have 170 people on isolation, meaning they have symptoms consistent with COVID19 and 1,157 people in quarantine, meaning they have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Coyote Ridge Correctional facility has begun creating gowns for front line workers in the facility (as of late march). It is unclear how this will continue with a staff member having been infected at that facility. We are waiting to hear back about that.

*Out in Walla Walla (WSP) things seem to be going fairly well. Our friend there reports that people are getting cleaning supplies in their unit everyday and that everyone has gotten 2 free bars of soap and have access to more if needed. People are being sent to segregation if they are sick but can take their property and are still being paid if they have a job. Some people are getting an extra 10 dollar bonus for extra work. All the programs have been cancelled, like in most facilities, and people now eat in their cells so there is some amount of cabin fever. After a series of bad communication from the DOC it is now clear that the law library is open to everyone-but not many people have been told that. So if you have a friend or loved one in Walla Walla let them know that they do not need a priority access form to get into the law library.

*According to our communication with someone in Airway Heights, it looks like as of April 1st at least N-unit was looking to go on lock down and there may have been people in T-unit who were possibly exposed. There was some movement of sick people from T-unit into quarantine cells and a lot of nurses moving around with extra protective gear and oxygen. As of right now we can not confirm what is happening, but this is how our friend was seeing the situation. It appears to be highly probable that there is COVID-19 in Airway Heights. We are eagerly waiting to hear back from our pen-pal.

*The King County Jail and Juvenile detention center are patting themselves on the back for reducing the number of people housed in their facilities. Currently there are 1,285 currently housed in King County and 36 people in the youth jail. These releases come after 2 staff at the King County jail and 1 staff member at the youth jail have tested positive.

With that here are two of the current on-going phone zaps to demand a release of ALL prisoners and a guarantee that they are found adequate housing.

PSPS call for King County

Thurston County call info

*COVID-19 Mutual Aid has some heartbreaking letters from people inside the WA DOC