Family and Friends Newsletter-October 2020

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | October 2020

Federal Stimulus Checks

Stimulus check

A federal court recently ruled that qualifying incarcerated people are now eligible to receive a federal stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment, or “EIP”) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). In order to receive a check, the offender must fill out an IRS Form 1040 with “EIP 2020” written at the top and mail it to the IRS, postmarked by October 30. Additional information on how to obtain an IRS Form 1040 or the Economic Impact Payment has been posted in housing unit wings and the offender library in each correctional facility. 

Department of Corrections staff are unable to provide tax advice.

Information about federal stimulus checks and applicable forms are accessible to you on the Department of Corrections website.


Quarantine/Isolation Changes

jail pix

Division Director Jeff Norman recently sent the following announcement to the offender population regarding quarantine,  

"First, I want to thank you for your patience as this pandemic continues. We have learned a lot these last few months and continue to modify practices based upon information from health organizations and feedback from both you and staff. We know that the process of quarantining the entire wing when an offender tests positive has had a significant impact on you and the institution. Therefore, we are revising the process to only place the positive/symptomatic offender and their cellmates in isolation. Additional offenders may be placed on quarantine depending on whether they are considered close contacts of the positive/symptomatic offender or if there is a number of positives in one particular wing. While we are revising this process, it is still important that we continue to employ strategies to reduce the spread of COVID. In addition to continued cleaning and sanitizing, all offenders will be required to wear a face covering any time they are inside a building and outside their cell or away from their bunk if living in a bay area. You do not have to wear a face covering in the shower or in the bathroom if you cannot shave or brush your teeth in the cell (but should wear a face covering going to and from the shower/bathroom). You will also not be required to wear a face covering while eating in the dining room or while outside. We understand that some of you may not like wearing a face covering; however this practice is being put into place in order to not quarantine entire wings when a positive occurs. These changes will occur by October 6th at all sites.

Please know that we understand that this pandemic has an impact on you and your loved ones. We will continue to work with the contracted vendors to provide the Free Reply Wednesdays, free weekly JPay Stamp, and two free weekly phone calls. Again, I appreciate your cooperation and patience."

To reiterate, offenders who test positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic are still being isolated in a separate area.  Cellmates and other close contacts are also isolated. 

Face Coverings

MVE Face Cover

Early in the pandemic, Missouri Vocational Enterprise sewing factories manufactured fabric face covers following a prototype developed in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. These face covers, designed to help reduce the spread of communicable diseases, were distributed to inmates and corrections staff. Every person living or working in a Missouri state prison was issued at least two of these fabric face covers, which can be cleaned in accordance with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines. They are intended to be used in conjunction with other best practices, such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing. 

Use of fabric face covers is required indoors in all facilities when social distancing can't be guaranteed.  Face covers also are required during transportation.

Proper use of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment is required in isolation units and during all interactions with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.