January 26, 2021

Bartholomew County Jail On Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge

Bartholomew County Jail

Bartholomew County Jail

Ninety-one of the 211 inmates incarcerated at the Bartholomew County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus since Saturday, according to a news release from the agency.

A strike team from the Indiana Department of Health came to the jail over the weekend to test inmates and staff.  Four inmates who refused to be tested were put into quarantine.

The jail is on lockdown until at least the end of February according to the news release.

Inmates with fewer than 30 days left on their sentences will be released early if they are not deemed to be a threat to the public. The decision to release an inmate early rests with the prosecutor’s office, judges or the probation office.

“COVID is not an automatic release” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew Myers.

Sheriff Myers said for now on attorneys won’t be allowed into the jail until the COVID outbreak is under control. Meetings between clients and attorneys will now be conducted over video or audio calls. Myers said inmates will be given one free 15-minute phone call per-week with a family member.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March of 2020, inmates and staff have been required to wear masks inside the jail, according to the sheriff.  Sanitation inside the jail has also been increased.

“We have put a lot of safety precautions in place over the past (almost) year but, unfortunately, this may get worse before it gets better” said Sheriff Myers.

Myers said his agency has asked federal and state officials about vaccines for BCJ inmates, but was told it is “not a priority” at this time.

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