RAMPANT VIRAL OUTBREAK:
STATE CONTRACTED PRIVATE PRISON IN LEE COUNTY SEES OVER HALF OF ITS INMATES, MORE THAN TWO DOZEN STAFF TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
NOVEMBER 18, 2020 – written by WADE QUEEN
PRIVATE PRISON: THE LEE ADJUSTMENT CENTER IN BEATTYVILLE, LEE COUNTY, KENTUCKY.
As the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases continue to steeply climb across and throughout Kentucky, several correctional facilities are seeing major outbreaks.
One correctional facility that has been hit hard is the Lee Adjustment Center, an 866-bed medium-security facility in Beattyville, Kentucky; which is in Lee County.
The Lee Adjustment Center is a private prison complex institution housing adult males while under contract with the Kentucky Department of Corrections. The facility is situated on an 88.28 acre parcel, of which approximately eleven acres make up the secure compound surrounded by a 12-foot double perimeter fence equipped with an electronic stun fence.
According to the website of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, the mission of the Lee Adjustment Center is to provide a safe, secure and humane environment that meets the needs and expectations of our government partner. Their stated goal is to provide meaningful programming to the inmate population that will aid them in becoming responsible, productive members of society upon their release.
But now a major medical emergency has recently hit the Lee Adjustment Center, as it has now seen more than 430 inmates and nearly 30 staff test positive for COVID-19.
According to Scott Lockard, Public Health Director of the Kentucky River District Health Department in Hazard, Ky., stated facilities like this have guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“Every facility has a COVID-19 plan and so obviously when people are identified with Covid they try to isolate them from other inmates in the facility and have Covid wings and so on,” according to director Lockard. “We’ve seen this with other prisons throughout the state that these facilities once it gets in part of the facility it’s really hard to restrict it there in that housing unit.”
Director Lockard also talks about how facilities like this usually work with the Department of Justice and the Department of Corrections to slow the spread.
“If they have a Covid positive wing and they have asymptomatic staff can they still allow those staff to work because those patients already have contracted COVID-19 they are already testing positive so there is no danger in further spread. So that is very much up to the Department of Corrections and Core Civic.”
CoreCivic is the company that runs the Lee Adjustment Center facility.
Director Lockard says they continue to look forward to the near future, with the expectant production and distribution of the newly developed COVID-19 future, likely to come late winter or spring of 2021.
“We are already talking about how we will disseminate this vaccine and work with the state department of public health and work with the federal government to get this out to our most vulnerable populations in our congregation facilities are very high on that list. ”
CoreCivic released a statement about the coronavirus outbreak situation at Lee Adjustment Center, part of which said “CoreCivic is working hard to protect our employees, those entrusted to our care, and our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a Coronavirus Medical Action Plan in place at each of our facilities, which we’ve been working on since January.”
For the full statement from CoreCivic, click HERE.
For information pertaining to COVID-19 testing and data at Lee Adjustment Center should be directed to the Kentucky Department of Corrections visit: https://corrections.ky.gov/facilities/pages/covid19.aspx