This proclamation seeks to prevent and mitigate the challenges of COVID-19 in state correctional facilities by ensuring that inmates arriving from the county jails will be processed according to prevailing medical standards (specifically, a 14-day quarantine period).
The proclamation addresses the concerns of the Department of Corrections:
It ratifies the 30-day moratorium on inmate intake Commissioner Dunn announced on March 20, 2020.
It directs the Department of Corrections to “develop and implement intake procedures appropriate to the COVID-19 public health emergency” and requires county sheriffs and jails to maintain custody of state inmates until they can safely be transferred to a DOC facility under the new intake procedures.
The proclamation also addresses the concerns of counties and sheriffs:
It ensures reimbursement of counties for their additional costs in housing and providing medical care to state inmates.
It provides liability protections for counties, sheriffs and their employees against claims arising out of their additional responsibilities under this order.
It reiterates Governor Ivey’s commitment to the Barbour County consent decree and her desire that DOC resume intake to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
Ultimately, the proclamation is based on the idea that, legally and practically, state and county detention facilities act as players on the same “team.”
Paragraph A.2 explains actions our State has already undertaken to assist county jails in addressing the challenges related to COVID-19.
Paragraph 5 explains the legal and practical reasons the State and counties must cooperate on inmate-intake issues.
To read the full proclamation, visit https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom.