From their website, “The Milwaukee County House of Correction is an honorable organization of committed officers with the integrity to adapt, overcome and achieve. We will maintain and ensure a safe and secure environment that consists of correctional programs to rehabilitate and re-introduce our citizens back into the community.”
Due to COVID-19, the House of Correction is limiting visitations to video video visits only until further notice.
In May UrbanMilwaukee.com reported:
After an outbreak in April, Milwaukee County’s House of Correction (HOC) is reporting zero new inmates or staff currently testing positive for COVID-19. The number of inmates showing symptoms and testing positive began to rise suggesting an outbreak was spreading through the correctional facility in Franklin. At the end of April, with help from the National Guard, the HOC tested every single inmate in its custody and every staff member working at the site. At its peak, which came with mass testing at the facility, the HOC had 105 confirmed cases. Currently, it has 85 inmates that are recovering and zero new cases of COVID-19.
The HOC has dealt with the outbreak by putting a cap on the number of individuals that can be housed in a dormitory. Daily cleaning and sanitation has been stepped up or doubled.
Right now, the Army Corps of Engineers is finishing construction on a surge facility at the HOC for inmates in the area to go if they test positive for COVID-19.
The population at the HOC has been reduced by nearly 50 percent during the pandemic. In January 2020 there were approximately 1,100 inmates at the HOC. Now there are 626.
The court has issued a number of release orders, using criteria it developed with law enforcement officials. Approximately 138 inmates were released under these orders. And, a number of Huber work-release eligible inmates have been put on electronic monitoring, on top of the HOC’s existing electronic monitoring program.
Sounds like the HOC took all the necessary precautions and that’s good news given what’s happening in other parts of the country. HOC must continue its due diligence. According to Stateline:
COVID-19 has raged throughout U.S. jails and prisons, where people live together in close quarters and there is little opportunity for social distancing, a lack of basic sanitary supplies and high rates of chronic disease.
While inmates mostly stay behind concrete walls and barbed wire, those barriers can’t contain an infectious disease like COVID-19. Not only can the virus be brought into jails and prisons, but it also can leave those facilities and spread widely into surrounding communities and beyond.
The effect may be most pronounced in jails, which mainly house those who are awaiting trial or inmates serving short sentences. Those facilities tend to have more churn than state and federal penitentiaries, with greater numbers of people entering and leaving, thereby increasing opportunities for the disease to disseminate.
Two new studies show that jails can contribute enormously to coronavirus case totals outside their walls. While COVID-19’s spread inside the facilities has been widely reported, the research demonstrates just how great an impact it can have in communities outside.