Earlier this week, Secretary of Governor Beshear’s Cabinet J. Michael Brown updated Kentuckians on COVID-19 in the state’s correctional facilities. According to official state numbers, there has been a sizable outbreak at Lee Adjustment Center, located in Beatyville. As of November 17th, there have been 29 active staff cases and 474 active inmate cases reported.
“The news from the corrections front is not good. We’ve seen an increase week over week of 514 inmate cases and 52 staff cases. That brings our total for the year to over 2,000 inmate cases and over 280 staff cases,” said Secretary Brown. “Our fear, frankly, is that we haven’t completely finished testing the facility and we already know that half of the inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. It’s alarming. We wanted to bring this to everyone’s attention to show that sometimes in spite of our best efforts, this virus continues to strike us.”
The Lee Adjustment Center has a total inmate population of 754 inmates. This means that the current active 474 inmate cases represent over 60% of the overall inmate population.
CoreCivic, owner of Lee Adjustment Center, has detailed on its website the measures it is taking to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. The Kentucky Department of Corrections has also released a statement listing its key initiatives in their effort to minimize active cases. These initiatives include suspension of visitations at all facilities and the discontinuation of inmate transfers with the exception of a medical emergency.
In addition to the Lee Adjustment Center, other state prisons have also seen an increase in COVID cases among their populations. The Blackburn Correctional Complex in Fayette County is reporting 47 active inmate cases.