Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway has been pioneering the effort to keep the Covid-19 virus out of his jails. He has been successful in keeping his staff and the inmates free of the virus since the quarantine orders have been in place. The implementation of the outdoor booking area, 14-day quarantine holding cells, monitoring the health of the staff and aggressive cleaning procedures have been at the forefront of continuing this achievement.
Effective Wednesday, May 27, 2020, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will have another weapon for fighting the Covid-19 Virus inside the walls of its Birmingham facility. The jail will be adding a CONPASS DV body scanner to their tool bag. This scanner will greatly reduce physical contact between the staff and the inmates during the booking process.
Jefferson County Jails have been conducting visitation by online visits for quite a while. This modification has significantly reduced the traffic coming in and out of the facilities without denying visitations between inmates and their families. With the implementation of the outdoor booking process, most of those brought to the jail are able to complete booking procedures and make their bond without ever entering into the facility. However, those who are unable to make bond or do not have a bond must go through normal procedures to enter into the jail until they have a court date. Those procedures include a full-body search of these subjects. These scanners will reduce the need for deputies to physically search those incoming inmates for drugs, weapons or other illegal contraband that could make its way into the jail. Having these scanners in place have the added benefit of keeping these dangerous items out of our jails. These devices will have the ability of locating contraband that subjects attempt to hide on their body in places that are difficult or even impossible for deputies to locate. This procedure will help make the facility safer for both the inmates and staff.