Multnomah County Jails Not Equipped for Coronavirus

Blast Zone No. 3409 - 0 Comments
Set Up On:
Category: Corrections - Jail Staff
Current Jail Address:
1120 SW Third Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97204

The jails in Multnomah County and the rest of the country for that matter, are not ready for the Coronavirus. With thousands of inmates housed in close quarters, it is only a matter of time until some bum gets picked up off the street and stuck in general population. If that bum has the Coronavirus then the game is over. Especially if the inmate is placed in an open dorm at the Inverness Jail. The medical staff has very few options for dealing with an outbreak there. It is not like a school or a business that can shut down and tell people to stay home. They are not going to let people out of jail just because inmates are getting sick. Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese would never allow criminal to go free even if keeping them in jail costs them their lives.

As far as Reese and the rest of the MCSO are concerned, inmates are just inmates. The medical staff will do their best with their limited skills and options, but there is ultimately no way to separate enough inmates to keep a disease like Coronavirus from spreading there. They could put the facility on lockdown, stop to transfers between that facility and other jails, cancel all court appearances for inmates, and only serve them sack lunches untouched by untested workers. That still would not be enough. Locking down a jail dorm just turns that dorm into a petri dish. Every inmate in that dorm would be doomed. Some inmates can be isolated from other inmates for the most part, but they don't have enough isolation units to handle a pandemic outbreak. The medical cells would fill up, the disciplinary cells would then be used as extra medical cells, housing units with cells would be put on lockdown walk alone status, and in the end they would have to choose which inmates were lucky enough to be separated and which would be thrown to the Coronavirus.

The medical staff at the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) and the Multnomah County Inverness Jail (MCIJ) are overseen by Dr. Michael Seale. What is Dr. Michael Seale doing to protect inmates from Coronavirus and how does he plan to stop the spread of the disease once the first inmate inevitably tests positive?

The pandemic flu of 1918 spread primarily through military barracks' to the Western Front and back. A barracks is one of the first things new inmates compare jails to. It is the same environment that enabled the influenza of 1918 and it exists today in America's jails and prisons.

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