CJSD Summary of Pandemic Response Plan

Mesa County Criminal Justice Services Department

Response to Pandemic and Communicable Diseases

 

Mesa County Criminal Justice and Community Corrections as well as its many programs understand there are concerns for clients, their families and the public that are caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado and our Grand Junction community. We have been in regular contact with the Mesa County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Safety as well as many Community Corrections agencies throughout Colorado for guidance on how our department should be handling program operations.

During the Fall of each year we update our department pandemic response plan, which encompasses a great deal of items that are critical when a pandemic occurs and helps us focus on critical programs and staff resources while balancing public safety.

Beginning in mid-March, the Criminal Justice and Community Corrections Program took numerous actions based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recommendations and the Mesa County Health Department recommendations. CJSD has followed the guidelines and made temporary changes as the level of restrictions changed based on community numbers related to COVID-19. Changes have included:

  • Ongoing inventory and ordering of critical supplies, such as sanitizer and masks for clients;
  • Implementing an additional “Wipe down” cleaning crew for the CJSD campus;
  • Identifying and evaluating clients with any high risk medical concerns;
  • Offering a daytime recreational center for clients to attend in small groups;
  • Providing additional client phone access for family contact;
  • Waiving of room and board fees for clients during Stay At Home restriction or active quarantines;
  • Assisting clients in filing unemployment claims;
  • Reduced population in an effort to create space and increase social distancing practices;
  • Designated living space for isolation and quarantine separate from general population;
  • Providing COVID-19 tests for clients on intake and as requested;
  • Daily screenings of COVID-19 symptoms for clients and staff;
  • Reviewing and adjusting the onsite treatment groups and client visitations as community restriction levels change;
  • Client emergency furlough assessments were updated and in some cases approved;
  • The program Employment Specialist contacts client employers to appraise them of current client restrictions and conditions. Whenever possible we want our clients to continue to work as long as the business is essential and COVID-19 prevention practices and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines are in place;
  • Reviewing and adjusting clients personal pass times into the community as restriction levels change, and;
  • Attempting to preserve community access for clients who have essential employment, critical personal items or medical appointments.

Operating and living in a residential facility during a crisis is challenging to employees, clients and their families. We continue to make updates to our practices with guidance from the Mesa County Health Department and the Colorado State Department of Public Safety, in order to balance health concerns and community safety. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this time.

For information on current data relating to the COVID-19 pandemic please visit the CJSD COVID-19 Data page.