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Whitmer order provides protections for jail and juvenile detention populations

Local officials now have more flexibility in releasing vulnerable populations who do not pose a threat to the public.

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Sunday, March 29 that protects "vulnerable populations" within Michigan county jails, local lockups and juvenile detention.

Included in the order are risk reduction protocols for jails to follow: 

  • Screening everyone who enters or leaves a facility, including staff, offender and vendors
  • Restricting all visits, except for attorneys
  • Limiting off site appointments, except for emergency medical treatment
  • Developing a protocol for incarcerated individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Providing PPE equipment for all staff to the fullest extent possible
  • Instituting stringent cleaning of all areas and surfaces on a regular basis
  • Practicing social distancing in all programs and classrooms
  • Minimizing crowding

See the full executive order here

The order also suspends transfers within the Michigan Department of Corrections until the risk protocols are in place. 

Local officials also now have more flexibility in releasing people who are vulnerable to the virus and who do not pose a threat to the public. This includes older people, individuals with chronic conditions, pregnant women and people nearing their release date. It also includes anyone incarcerated for a traffic violation, for failure to appear or failure to pay and anyone with behavioral health problems that can be diverted for treatment. 

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday, March 29, 77 individuals within the Department of Corrections tested positive for COVID-19. 

The order remains in effect until April 26 at 11:59 p.m. 

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