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Inside Indiana prisons, a growing COVID-19 problem

Numbers way up from one week ago
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Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 21:52:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Inside Indiana's state prisons, COVID-19 is a growing problem.

The numbers bear that out. There's been a significant increase in cases involving offenders and staff over the last week.

One week ago, 23 offenders and 33 officers, a total of 56, had tested positive for COVID-19. Now, the figure has jumped to 215 total cases and one death, according to the Indiana Department of Correction. The breakdown is 150 offenders and 65 staff members.

The worst is at the Westville Correctional facility in LaPorte County. The prison population is listed by the IDOC as 3,200. 98 inmates have tested positive and one has died.

Closer to Indianapolis, the IDOC reports 24 positive tests in a population of 1,800, and at the Indiana Women's prison on the Indianapolis west side there have been 13 cases.

On its website, the IDOC lists its policy on handling situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic:

The Indiana Department of Correction will manage infectious diseases in correctional facilities through a comprehensive approach which includes prevention, testing, appropriate treatment, education, and infection control measures. This link outlines the details of how each facility will implement it's primary and secondary prevention measures.