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NCJ Number: 229840 Find in a Library
Title: Responding to an H1N1 Outbreak in an Urban Jail Setting: The NYC Experience
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:5  Dated:October 2009  Pages:26-29
Author(s): Erik Berliner
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes in detail how the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) responded to a call from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) on May 15, 2009, confirming that an inmate in the DOC's custody had the H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu.
Abstract: Although a full epidemiological study has not been conducted, a preliminary assessment indicates that the H1N1 crisis occurred in waves. The Anna M. Kross Center was the epicenter for approximately 2 weeks. The disease next affected the adolescent population for approximately 2 weeks. Sixty-three housing areas departmentwide, encompassing 8 of the 11 operating facilities, were put on medical restriction. At the height of the epidemic, approximately 1,000 inmates were on medical restriction, and 95 inmates missed their court appearances. Generally, DOC administrators view their response to the epidemic as successful crisis management that has provided the department with experience for future pandemic planning. Like nearly all large jail systems, the DOC has had a pandemic flu plan for several years. The plan's focus was on controlling the spread of influenza in the inmate population by limiting the mingling of newly admitted inmates with the existing inmate population and significantly reducing the number of inmates sent to court by expanding the use of video teleconferencing. There were several components of the DOC's response plan that contributed to the effective containment of the H1N1 virus. These components consisted of routine medical screening in the prearraignment holding facilities in the courthouses; housing-area medical restrictions; the sanitizing of every affected housing area; the maintenance of court-production protocols for inmate court appearances; staff protection; and the creation of a labor relations task force to provide a forum in which the union's views could be heard.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Case studies; Communicable diseases; Inmate health care; Jail management; Jails; New York
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