Linda Smith, a 71-year-old inmate who was serving a 50-year sentence for sexual torture out of Shelby County at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama, passed away on March 27. Inmate Smith was hospitalized on March 2, where, upon admission, she tested positive for COVID-19. She remained under the care of the local hospital until her passing.
The ADOC has confirmed that eleven (11) new inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 31:
- Draper Quarantine Intake Facility (Elmore, Alabama) – ten (10) inmates
- Staton Correctional Facility (Elmore, Alabama) – one (1) inmate
Newly identified positive case(s) include inmate(s) who are symptomatic and inmate(s) who are asymptomatic. All existing quarantine protocols held in-place or newly implemented as recommended by the ADOC’s contracted State Medical Director are being maintained at each facility where newly identified positive inmate(s) are currently housed.
One thousand six hundred eleven (1,611) total cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among our inmate population, forty-seven (47) of which remain active.
Inmate Vaccine Update
In this Tuesday’s COVID-19 update, we shared that ADOC was notified by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) that last week’s significant weather events resulted in lower participation in community vaccine appointments than was anticipated – this produced a surplus of defrosted Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that would expire and go to waste if not used immediately.
To ensure these vital resources did not expire, the ADPH offered 1,400 doses to the ADOC which were administered this Wednesday by the Alabama National Guard to eight hundred seventy-one (871) inmates at Bullock Correctional Facility in Union Springs, Alabama.
It is important to note that the ADOC does not require staff or inmates to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This is a personal health decision, and participation in this process was and will continue to be completely voluntary.
The ADPH will release the necessary second round Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the ADOC, which also will be administered by the Alabama National Guard, within the recommended timeframe for inmates who voluntarily participated in this process Wednesday at Bullock Correctional Facility.
The ADOC is pleased to share that the ADPH has released an additional 4,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to the ADOC.
Upon completing our staff vaccination process next week, we currently estimate that we will have between 6,000 – 7,000 doses available to begin inoculating inmates who wish to receive a vaccine. The ADOC will begin the process of vaccinating its entire inmate population on Monday of the following week (April 12), and – as with our staff vaccination plan – we will begin with those facilities that house our most vulnerable inmates. Our intent is to inoculate entire facilities at one time – not focus on particular age groups or demographics.
This process will start at the following group of facilities on April 12:
- Hamilton Aged and Infirmed (Hamilton, Alabama)
- Hamilton Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Hamilton, Alabama)
- Limestone Correctional Facility (Harvest, Alabama)
- Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Wetumpka, Alabama)
To encourage both staff and inmate participation, we are providing necessary onsite education and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) educational packets.
We will continue to share information about our inmate vaccination plan, including the groups of facilities that will be inoculated week-over-week, via our ongoing COVID-19 updates. We followed a very similar process last fall when we received resources that allowed us to do mass COVID-19 testing across our entire system.
Should additional resources be made available to the ADOC to facilitate the onsite delivery of either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to our inmate population, we will take advantage of those to the degree it is possible.
No new staff members have self-reported positive test results for COVID-19 as of March 31:
Fifty-four (54) COVID-19 cases among ADOC staff and contracted staff remain active. Nine hundred eighty-two (982) staff members who previously self-reported a positive test have been cleared by medical providers to return to work.
Staff Vaccine Update
The ADOC continues its process of offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to its staff and contracted staff who wish to receive a vaccine through the Department. In accordance with our vaccine distribution plan, staff are being prioritized to receive the first doses of the vaccine made available to the ADOC.
The ADOC has confirmed that one hundred seventy-one (171) additional staff members have voluntarily participated in this process as of March 31 at the following facilities:
- Bibb Correctional Facility (Brent, Alabama) – thirty-three (33) staff members
- Bullock Correctional Facility (Union Springs, Alabama) – nine (9) staff members
- Fountain Correctional Facility (Atmore, Alabama) – sixteen (16) staff members
- Holman Correctional Facility (Atmore, Alabama)– nineteen (19) staff members
- Kilby Correctional Facility (Montgomery, Alabama) – sixty-two (62) staff members
- Loxley Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Loxley, Alabama) – nine (9) staff members
- Mobile Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Eight Mile, Alabama) – seven (7) staff members
- North Alabama Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Decatur, Alabama) – seventeen (17) staff members
- Red Eagle Community Work Center (Montgomery, Alabama) – eight (8) staff members
A total of six hundred sixty-two (662) staff members have received a vaccination through the Department to-date. Please note that facility-level vaccination data only reflects how many ADOC staff members have received the vaccine through the Department – it does not include staff who have received a vaccine through a community provider.
This vaccination process will conclude next week at the following group of facilities:
- Alexander City Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Alexander City, Alabama)
- Camden Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Camden, Alabama)
- Elba Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Elba, Alabama)
- Frank Lee Community-Based Facility/Community Work Center (Deatsville, Alabama)
For more information on the ADOC’s staff vaccination process, please review our March 17 COVID-19 Update.