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Sheriff Gives Update About Jail Population and COVID Testing

Sheriff Gives Update About Jail Population and COVID Testing

(OCSO, May 14, 2020)

Pontiac, MI – Today, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is releasing its latest data, statistics, and information relative to its staffing and inmate population within the Oakland County Jail.

Internal operational meetings were held within the Corrections Division in late February. On March 3rd, there was a specific meeting held after other representatives of the Sheriff’s Office had met with Oakland County stakeholders on March 2nd regarding COVID-19. Screening procedures for both inmates and staff have been implemented, sanitization of equipment and common spaces occurs regularly, visitation, attorney, and clergy visits are done electronically, arraignments and most court hearings are done electronically, personal protection equipment has been distributed to inmates and personnel, and quarantine procedures for new arrests and those who may be symptomatic continue to be used. We anticipated aggressive steps had to be taken as correctional facilities have settings which can be challenging for infectious diseases. As this challenge presented itself across the nation, the Michigan Department of Corrections has had 49 deaths and more than 50 hospitalized according to press reports.

Oakland County has tested more inmates than almost all 80 other jails in the state of Michigan and has had zero inmates hospitalized as well as zero deaths. Currently, the Oakland County Jail has ten positive cases within its inmate population and three employees, who are off work. At this point, we have tested 746 inmates and an additional 163 inmates have refused testing for the virus. Inmates who have tested positive or are housed in the East Annex have their temperatures taken three times a day and any staff or individuals entering the facility are screened with questions and have their temperatures taken before entering.

On March 1st, the population of the Oakland County Jail was 1,282. Today, the current population is down significantly to 643 inmates. At the beginning of the crisis, a list of individuals who were housed for non-violent offenses who were at-risk due to medical conditions, was sent to the courts to review. Out of the 166 original names sent to the courts, 143 have been released, and 23 remain in custody. An additional list of 17 inmates was sent to the courts yesterday for their review. The Jail has another 58 inmates who are being reviewed for a potential recommendation for release which the judges may choose to release should they not be a threat to the community.

The Oakland County Jail is currently housing 20 inmates who have been sentenced and should be in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections, but due to the Governor’s Orders, their transfer of custody has been delayed. We anticipate their transfer out in the near future.

The Oakland County Jail will continue to use best practices and follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for correctional facilities. These procedures will likely continue into the near future even after the Governor’s Orders, State of Emergency, and Disaster Declaration have lifted to keep the care and custody of inmates at the forefront of our operations.

NOTE:  Police Reports come directly from the Police Department or agency involved and are written by the person or agency listed below the title.  We generally run these “as is” or with minimal editing for punctuation, spelling, etc. Suspects should not be presumed guilty.  Those needing more information about a case are encouraged to follow up with the reporting agency or court system for the most current information.

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