GRANITE, Okla. – It’s a clear and consistent message, even before you enter any DOC facility. Covid-19 is taken seriously.
It begins with temperature checks and health questionnaires. Staff must wear PPE at all times.
“We have face shields, masks, we have the PPE gowns,” Unit Manager Paul Lawrence said. “We also have gloves on at all times. The whole 9 yards.”
And it’s not just prison staff. Each inmate at every facility is regularly given a face mask and anti-bacterial soap. Administrative Assistant Larissa Staley is tasked with distribution at Oklahoma State Reformatory.
“We pass out masks at least once a week and soap every two weeks,” Staley said.
Since March, the agency has taken numerous measures to ensure the health and safety of all DOC employees and inmates. That includes immediate medical attention to anyone feeling sick.
The department has also implemented “clean teams” to sterilize frequently touched surfaces and high traffic areas.
Officers also use disinfectant foggers to clean the housing and dining areas.
And despite rumors to the contrary, inmates are fed three meals a day from a master menu. Meals include meat, bread, fruits and vegetables.
“Yesterday I had a hamburger patty, mashed potatoes, sliced bread and lemonade,” inmate Michael Gray said. “It doesn’t get much better.”
The Department of Corrections will continue working diligently to protect everyone, including every single inmate in our care.