Mitigating COVID-19 in Jail Settings

​​​​Community of Practice

The COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in Jail Settings Community of Practice was a monthly webinar series that aimed to contribute to the mitigation of COVID-19 in jail and similar incarceration settings. The Community of Practice (CoP) followed the development of the COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in Jail Settings Toolkit.

Planning for the future, paying attention to the past
Thursday, September 30
1:00 - 2:00 pm

The September COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in Jail Settings Community of Practice webinar will be the final webinar of a series that will feature facilitated discussions with stakeholders from across the country. We will be discussing COVID-19 mitigation strategy updates for those working in jail settings. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A discussion with criminal-legal, public health, community, and behavioral health experts. Those interested in learning more about COVID-19 mitigation strategies for local jails and their surrounding communities, or looking to engage in collaborative dialogue around practice, should attend.

Agenda:

  • Updates to COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy #1: Testing & vaccination
    Bianca Burch
    Bianca Burch headshotBianca Burch, M.A., M.S.W.

    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

    Bianca joined the CBHJ team September 2019 as a Project Coordinator. Before coming to the CBHJ, Burch was a project coordinator at The University of Michigan working on studies that focused on substance use, depression, and suicide prevention among adolescents and young adults in the Flint area. She was also a research associate at the Michigan Public Health Institute. During that time she provided technical assistance and coordinated data collection and entry, ongoing communication and collaboration with community stakeholders throughout the state of Michigan.

  • Updates to COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy #2: Contact tracing
    Tyler Logan
    Tyler Logan headshotTyler Logan, M.A.

    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

    Tyler is a strong advocate for health equity and social justice. Much of his research work and interests have been embedded in identifying how historical, systemic, and environmental factors affect the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities. He is also a member of the Michigan Association for Evaluation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association for Health Service Executives. Prior to coming to the CBHJ, Tyler was involved in multiple evaluation projects throughout Michigan, and beyond, and brings valuable equity-focused evaluation, facilitation, community engagement, and stakeholder collaboration practices to the team.

  • Updates to COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy #3: Information sharing
    Bianca Burch
    Bianca Burch headshotBianca Burch, M.A., M.S.W.

    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

    Bianca joined the CBHJ team September 2019 as a Project Coordinator. Before coming to the CBHJ, Burch was a project coordinator at The University of Michigan working on studies that focused on substance use, depression, and suicide prevention among adolescents and young adults in the Flint area. She was also a research associate at the Michigan Public Health Institute. During that time she provided technical assistance and coordinated data collection and entry, ongoing communication and collaboration with community stakeholders throughout the state of Michigan.

  • Updates to COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy #4: Discharge planning and decarceration
    Tyler Logan
    Tyler Logan headshotTyler Logan, M.A.

    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

    Tyler is a strong advocate for health equity and social justice. Much of his research work and interests have been embedded in identifying how historical, systemic, and environmental factors affect the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities. He is also a member of the Michigan Association for Evaluation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association for Health Service Executives. Prior to coming to the CBHJ, Tyler was involved in multiple evaluation projects throughout Michigan, and beyond, and brings valuable equity-focused evaluation, facilitation, community engagement, and stakeholder collaboration practices to the team.

  • Panel Discussion
    Panelists

    headshot of Dr. Alysse Wurcel

     

    Dr. Alysse Wurcel, MD, MS
    Infectious Diseases Physician, Tufts Medical Center
    Assistant Professor, Tufts School of Medicine
    Infectious Diseases Liaison, Massachusetts Sheriffs Association

    Dr. Wurcel is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ID) at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  She did internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and ID fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and Tufts Medical Center. In addition to her work as an inpatient ID doctor, Dr. Wurcel has an outpatient clinic where she specializes in HIV, HCV and substance use disorder care.  Dr. Wurcel provides HIV and HCV care at six county jails in eastern MA.  She is interested in the barriers and facilitators to care for people with or at risk for HIV and HCV, especially people who use drugs and people who are incarcerated. She is an international expert on injection-drug use associated infections, including bacterial endocarditis.  Dr. Wurcel has a K08 grant from the Agency of Human Research and Quality to improve HCV testing access in jails. In April 2020, she was appointed as ID Liaison to the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association, and has been advising the county jails on COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, and vaccination strategies.

    An undergraduate degree in sociology launched me into a career as an infectious diseases doctor working clinically and on research to improve the quality of care delivered to people who use drugs and people who are incarcerated. 
     

    headshot of Paul Elam

     

    Paul Elam, PhD
    Chief Strategy Officer, Michigan Public Health Institute

    Paul Elam is responsible for diversifying the Institute's portfolio to address cutting edge issues that affect the health and well-being of our society. His deep understanding of youth violence and prevention, crime and justice, and child maltreatment is nationally recognized. Elam brings a wealth of knowledge and experience measuring racial and ethnic disproportionality and believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably. His current leadership efforts include mentoring and training professionals from historically underrepresented groups in culturally responsive and equitable engagement to ensure that the people who are most impacted are at the center of conversations which seek to find solutions to problems affecting them. Elam works closely with governmental, philanthropic, university, and nonprofit clients, providing strategic consultation to advance decisions in ways that improve lives, advance social justice and produce equitable outcomes. Elam earned a PhD in Family and Child Ecology, a Master's degree in Criminal Justice and Urban Studies, and a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, all from Michigan State University.

    headshot of Heather Walter-McCabe

     

    Heather Water-McCabe, JD, MSW
    Associate Professor of Law and Social Work, Wayne State University

    Professor Heather Walter-McCabe holds a joint appointment at Wayne State University Law School and Wayne State University School of Social Work.Walter-McCabe began her career as a social worker at a high acuity pediatric tertiary care hospital in the Midwest working with families whose children had significant medical needs. After law school, she directed a public health research program examining the impact of firearm violence in Indiana. She later served as the executive director of the William H. and Christine H. Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before joining the faculty at the Indiana University School of Social Work.

    Her research is done at the intersection of law, social work, and public health. Her research translates complex legal issues and research findings across multiple professions to make the information accessible for use by practitioners and advocates in improving population health. As a part of this work, Walter-McCabe was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Law Teaching Fellow from 2014-16.

    Most recently she is leading research examining law and policy impacting LGBTQ health equity and well-being. She has published in traditional peer-reviewed academic journals and law reviews and has also been sought by media to explain core issues of public health policy. Walter-McCabe serves on the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association and is a contributing editor to the journal Social Work.
     

    Sheriff Jerry Clayton headshot

     

    Sheriff Jerry Clayton
    Sheriff, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

    Jerry L. Clayton is a 33-year criminal justice professional, currently serving his fourth term as the Sheriff of Washtenaw County. Sheriff Clayton leads a value and mission driven organization, focused on co-producing public safety through community engagement and collaboration.

    During his career with the Sheriff's Office, Jerry served in a variety of front-line and executive positions, Corrections Commander, Police Services Commander and SWAT Team Commander. For 25 years, Sheriff Clayton has been a certified criminal justice trainer and instructor, specializing in Cultural Diversity, Bias-Free Policing, Organizational Management and Leadership.  He has provided training, monitoring and Subject Matter Expert consulting services to the US Department of Justice, the National Sheriff's Association, and the ACLU. Jerry has been Chairperson and a Governor appointed commissioner since 2013 for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. Sheriff Clayton also serves on the boards of numerous local non-profit organizations.

    headshot of Brad Ray

     

    Brad Ray, PhD
    Associate Professor of Social Work, Wayne State University

    Brad Ray joined Wayne State University's School of Social Work as Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in 2019. Ray received his PhD from North Carolina State University in Sociology in 2012 and spent seven years IUPUI where he served as a research director at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. He is a community-engaged researcher that focuses on mental health and substance use, particularly where these populations intersect with the criminal justice system. Much of his recent research has focused on evaluating policies and interventions aimed at the recent overdose epidemic, and translating evidence-based harm reduction strategies into practice.

    Ray is a Michigan native with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Northern Michigan University where he assisted in a census of tribal communities. His early graduate research was on opioid overdose and later focused on mental health courts for his doctoral work. While center director at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute Ray received funding from numerous local, state, federal, and foundation sources to conduct research at the intersection of behavioral health, public health, and criminal justice systems. Much of this research is community-engaged and translational research but Ray has also developed, implemented, and managed clinical research experiments within criminal justice settings. Ray is excited to bring his skills and expertise to his home state—and especially to one of the world's most remarkable cities—and study the innovative work occurring across the state, and contributing to any positive change.

    Moderated by:

    Bianca Burch headshot

    Bianca Burch, MA, MSW
    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

    Tyler Logan headshot

    Tyler Logan, MA
    Project Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

 

Community of Practice sessions

image of an open jail cell

Decarceration as a strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

The CoP session from May 27, 2021 brought together experts to discuss the need to reduce populations to mitigate COVID-19 in jail settings and practical strategies that jails can use to implement decarceration as a strategy. Professor Beth Huebner, Director Douglas Burris and Miranda Gibson discuss their successful efforts to use a systematic case review process to reduce the jail population in the St. Louis County Department of Justice Services to assist mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among staff and detainees. Watch the video

COVID-19 communications, preparedness and mitigation: addressing the infodemic and pandemic

The CoP session on April 22, 2021 brought diverse champions to the table to provide an overview of effective public health communication and educational strategies across multiple populations: criminal-legal staff, those justice-involved, and the community. The event provided an opportunity to continue engaging in dialogue around the topics discussed and vaccines, including strategies to consider when offering the vaccine to those who are justice-involved. Watch the video

Addressing behavioral health and COVID-19 in jail settings and beyond

The CoP session on March 25, 2021 shared information on the diversion of justice-involved people where needed, social isolation, and risk factors of those with behavioral health needs during this pandemic. Watch the video

vaccine stock photo

Ask an expert: COVID-19 vaccines

The CoP session on Feburary 25, 2021 was a Q&A discussion with public health, criminal-legal and advocacy experts working along the criminal justice spectrum to combat COVID-19. The event provided an opportunity to learn more about current COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including but not limited to COVID-19 vaccinations, collaboration with external organizations in this space, and more. Watch the video

stock photo of jail bars

 

Jail facility processes and policies for COVID-19 and beyond

The CoP session on January 28, 2021 provided an overview of jail facilities, especially for public health professionals to learn more about general and COVID-19 specific jail facility processes and policies. Key stakeholders from across the country engage in facilitated discussions, highlighting COVID-19 mitigation strategies in jail settings with key personnel. Watch the video

stock photo covid in jail

 

Key strategies for COVID-19 mitigation in jail settings

The CoP session on December 11, 2020 was the first of a monthly series that featured facilitated discussions with stakeholders from across the country. During the event, key COVID-19 mitigation strategies in jail settings with key personnel were discussed, including testing, contact tracing, data/information sharing, and discharge planning. Watch the video

 

decorative link to CDC Foundation article: Arresting the Spread: Fighting COVID in Jails

For questions and more information, please contact us.

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