NOTE: The revised Roadmap to Reopening went into effect July 11, 2022
With the continued drop in COVID-19 cases in our institutions, and the high vaccination rates among the population throughout the state’s prisons, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) have issued updated reopening guidance to our 34 institutions.
The Roadmap to Reopening provides a general guideline, allowing hiring authorities and their teams to determine specifics that meet the operational and safety needs of their institution’s unique circumstances and how best to apply those specifics.
Effective Monday, July 11, 2022, Movement between the phases will be determined jointly by the Warden and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will be reflected on the Roadmap SharePoint. Movement from Open Phase to Outbreak Phase shall apply to all Incarcerated Persons (IP) who program together within a facility. Movement from Outbreak Phase to Open Phase may apply to an entire facility or to individual housing units within the facility once it has been determined that a facility or individual housing unit within that facility is no longer in Outbreak Phase. The Roadmap takes into consideration the recommended guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, our health care partners, and other stakeholders.
In each phase, staff will ensure COVID-19 precautionary and infection control measures are adhered to, including: complying with physical distancing, enforcing facial coverings, handwashing, encouraging vaccination, testing compliance, and frequent disinfecting of spaces and activity items between uses. Criteria for entering an institution will be updated in accordance with public health guidelines.
Roadmap to Reopening
Open Phase (New Normal):
- To move to Open Phase, the facility, or housing unit must have no new IP outbreak cases for 14 days
- Individual housing units may move from Outbreak Phase to Open Phase independently as long as they are conducting enhanced COVID response testing, have had no new IP outbreak cases for 14 days and they have not been programing with other housing units.
- In the absence of sufficient testing, the Warden and CEO shall consult with the RHCE, AD, and CCHCS Public Health. In most cases the Outbreak Phase will be extended.
- IP who are housed in a facility or housing unit that is in Outbreak Phase shall not be permitted to program with IP in other facilities or housing units. .
- If a facility experiences a COVID-19 outbreak among IP, the facility shall revert to Outbreak Phase, restrictions as described above
General Provisions for Institutional Operations, Programs, and Health Care Services:
- Facilities and housing units within facilities that have progressed to Open Phase shall return to normal operations for all IP programming and activities.
- COVID-19 precautions shall continue to be observed consistent with latest direction
- An outbreak is defined as three or more epidemiologically linked cases of COVID-19 among
- incarcerated persons (IP) within the past 14 days.
- During Outbreak Phase, operations, programs, and services will be modified to minimize the risk for ongoing transmission of COVID-19.
- When an outbreak is identified in a facility, all IP who program together within that facility shall be placed in Outbreak Phase. An exception can be made for housing units within the outbreak facility that do not program with other units, such as administrative segregation units, COVID-19 isolation units, and reception center units to include intake quarantine units.
- Once an outbreak is identified, the institution shall progress from routine surveillance COVID-19 testing to enhanced outbreak response testing of employees and IP. The purpose of this enhanced testing is to identify additional infected individuals and outbreak areas within the institution. The enhanced testing plan will be developed by the CEO and Warden in consultation with the Regional Health Care Executive (RHCE) and Associate Director (AD).
- If not all IP consent to testing, the Warden and CEO shall consult with the RHCE, AD, and CCHCS Public Health to determine if response testing has been adequate to transition from Outbreak Phase to Open Phase.
- In the absence of testing, the Outbreak Phase will in most cases be extended and monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms will be essential.
- Any quarantine that extends past 21 days shall require consultation with the RHCE, AD, and CCHCS.
General Provisions for Institutional Operations, Programs, and Health Care Services during Outbreak Phase:
- Every effort shall be made to continue essential healthcare during Outbreak Phase. In addition to face coverings, enhanced hygiene, and improved ventilation, modifications may be necessary:
- Cell front or in-unit clinical encounters
- Mental Health in-cell activities and programming.
- Cell front or in-unit medication distribution
- Temporary postponement of routine services that are not deemed to be high priority or emergent.
- Outbreak facilities/buildings will be closed to in-person, video, and family visiting during quarantine and isolation.
- Outbreak facilities/buildings will be closed to media access, film requests, and stakeholder tours.
- No outside vendors, non-essential contractors, or non-employees will be permitted in outbreak areas other than those who are essential for supplying needed goods. Essential vendors, contractors, and non-employees include:
- Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment program providers, including Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors
- California Department of Veterans Affairs representatives
- Design and construction activities performed by consultants, general contractors, and the
Inmate/Ward Labor program
- IP workforce will be limited to essential functions within their outbreak units.
- Yard access shall be by housing unit.
- Meals will be provided within the housing unit or controlled feeding in the dining halls.
- Showers and phone calls shall be provided with cleaning in between uses.
- Dayroom access within the same living quarters.
- Sports equipment may be issued if used only by IPs who live within the same unit IP; equipment is to be cleaned after use.
- Recreational activities (card games, board games, etc.) may be issued to IP who live within the same unit, with disinfection of the items between uses.
- Students will be eligible to receive independent study packets.
- Students shall be administered educational assessments within their housing unit.
- Law library: Paging only. Recreational reading books made available to IP in housing units; access to assistive devices shall be provided in libraries or housing units, including devices for vision impaired individuals, upon request.
- The following programs will not be provided to IP housed in outbreak areas:
- Offender Mentor Certification Program, in-person college, and Innovative Grants Program/Arts in Corrections/Volunteer programs. Every effort will be made to provide in cell activities.
- Congregate/group religious activities may be provided to IP within their units.
- IP received from county jails shall be placed into cohorts on quarantine status in a single housing
- unit/dorm and continue to receive program and services separate from isolation or quarantine
- housing units/dorms.
- Law library: Paging only. Recreational reading books made available in housing units; access to assistive devices provided in libraries or housing units, as resources are available.
- The following programs are closed: Offender Mentor Certification Program, in-person college, and Innovative Grants Program/Arts in Corrections/Volunteer programs.
- Congregate/Group religious activities are not permitted.
- Medication distribution shall be determined jointly by the CEO and Warden.
- Health Care may be limited to emergent and urgent/high priority care.