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Justice & Public Safety Cabinet

COVID-19 In-Person Closures



Office of the Secretary

As of March 17, 2020, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Governor Beshear has closed the State Capitol to non-essential personnel. You can still contact the Governor’s Office here: https://governor.ky.gov/contact/contact-us.

Gov. Beshear has also closed state government buildings across Kentucky to in-person services. We are going to make sure people can continue to get the services they need during this time, but we have to model the social distancing behavior that we want to see from all of #TeamKentucky. #TogetherKY

  • Staff in the grants division will utilize desk monitoring for all grant sub-recipients rather than in-person visits.
  • The Human Resources Division will conduct all interviews for job applicants by telephone or by videoconference.
  • The Motorcycle Safety Education Commission has suspended all classes until further notice. Please contact Jay Huber for further information at jay.huber@ky.gov or 502-564-1568. 
  • The Internal Investigations Branch will conduct investigations and interviews using teleconference and videoconference capabilities.
 

Department of Corrections

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) in consultation with the Department for Public Health, have taken proactive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. DOC is prepared to handle potential cases of COVID-19 within state-operated correctional institutions in Kentucky.
 
DOC is working diligently daily to minimize health risks and is committed to following the proposed guidance from the CDC for Correctional and Detention Facilities.
 
Key initiatives taken at all state prisons effective on or around March 10th including the following:
  • Visitation has been suspended at all facilities.
  • All outside programming and volunteer activity have been suspended to limit the number of people entering a facility.
  • Transfers between institutions have been stopped with the exception of an operational or medical emergency. New inmates received at an institution are quarantined for 14 days prior to being incorporated with the general inmate population.
  • All facilities have enhanced sanitization efforts using germicide and a bleach solution multiple times daily. DOC has also increased access to hand sanitizer for staff and soap for inmates, while also educating on the CDC guidance for mitigating the spread of germs.
  • Staff are screened for COVID-19 symptoms every day upon entry. Anyone entering a DOC facility is required to sanitize hands and feet, receive a temperature scan, answer questions regarding recent travel activity and current health symptoms.
  • Cloth masks were distributed to all staff and inmates.
  • All facilities have implemented social distancing, as much as feasible.
  • The DOC has developed quarantine and medical isolation accommodations for symptomatic and exposed individuals across its facilities. If someone shows possible signs of COVID-19 the DOC medical team in partnership with the Department of Public Health will determine testing needs and next steps for those who exhibit COVID-related symptoms; this includes quarantining, medically isolating, or transferring the individual to a hospital, as needed.
  • If any inmate becomes symptomatic for any illness, not just COVID-19, and the prison medical staff cannot handle their care adequately, they are transferred to the hospital.
  • As an added layer of protection, we partnered with the Corrections medical provider, Wellpath, and implemented drive-through testing for our prison staff who show symptoms while at work or have been quarantined by their health care provider but not tested.
  • Inmates in state prisons are receiving one free phone call per week and two free messages via a secure electronic mail system.
 
To contact the DOC directly with specific questions regarding COVID-19 preparedness and medical-related inmates questions click here.
 
Probation and Parole officers are instructing individuals on supervision to report to their officer by phone, unless exigent circumstances exist. All evidence-based reentry classes held in the Probation and Parole offices are suspended until further notice; however, the staff is still available to assist clients telephonically if needed. Addiction Services staff will continue to provide services to clients via telephone and case reviews.
 
Addiction Services program managers are developing site-specific plans to continue programming and limit staff and participant contact in jails, institutions, and residential community programs. For community programs, we are also utilizing web-based options for clients to continue participating in support groups and treatment. 
 

Department of Juvenile Justice 

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and the Department of Juvenile Justice in consultation with the Department for Public Health, have taken proactive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus to youth and staff.
 
**In an abundance of caution, we have temporarily suspended visitation at all facilities and community offices until further notice. This step was taken to protect our residents, their loved ones, and our staff due to the public health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus or COVID-19.**
 
Key initiatives implemented at all Department of Juvenile Justice facilities include:
  • Visitation has been suspended.
  • All outside programming and volunteer activity has been suspended.
  • Limiting the transfer of youth throughout the agency.
  • New youth residents are quarantined for 14 days prior to being incorporated with the general youth population. Quarantined  youth receive the same services and access to video conferencing with their families and attorneys as youth residents in the general population.
  • All facilities have enhanced sanitization protocols multiple times daily.
  • Staff are screened for COVID-19 symptoms every day upon entry and at minimum once more during their shift. Anyone entering a DJJ facility is required to sanitize hands and shoes, receive a temperature scan, answer questions regarding social contacts and current health symptoms.
  • Residents are screened for symptoms at a minimum twice daily.
  • Staff  and residents have been supplied with general masks and cloth masks made by the Kentucky Correctional Industries garment factory at Kentucky State Penitentiary.
  • All facilities have implemented social distancing.
 
 

Kentucky State Police

 
The State Police cadet class 100 scheduled to begin May 17th has been postponed until Aug. 2nd.
 
Due to the closure of courthouses across the state, all driver’s testing functions have been suspended until further notice.
 

Parole Board

Victim Impact Hearings will be conducted utilizing teleconference and videoconference capabilities. For more information, email pbvictimservices@ky.gov; or call 1-800-221-5991.
 
Revocation hearings will be scheduled as usual using videoconferencing. For more information contact angela.tolley@ky.gov.
 

Department for Public Advocacy

DPA attorneys and staff who need to communicate with clients and others who are not in custody will communicate by phone or with technology. DPA is working with jails and courts to develop means to communicate confidentially and safely with clients and others who are in custody. For more information, contact Public Advocate Damon Preston at  damon.preston@ky.gov.
 

Department of Criminal Justice Training

All scheduled in-service and extra courses are suspended until further notice