MIDLAND, Texas — Midland and Ector County are making changes at their detention centers to fight the spread of COVID-29.
"We're doing this just to be safe, we're trying to be proactive, we're coming up with new ideas every day," said Adam Hilliard, a Lieutenant at the Midland County Detention Center.
These ideas include having certain staff work remotely from home, stopping prison transfers both in and out with other counties and even tweaking who will be booked versus who will be cited.
"What we've done is no longer accepting Class A or B misdemeanors by complaint or warrant unless it's DWI or involving family violence," said Hilliard. "We're also not accepting any Class C misdemeanors or Class C warrants unless they're the charges of public intoxication or family violence, and we will not accept any state felony drug charges by complaint or warrant."
The reason behind all of the changes is to limit the jail population to control the number of people that could potentially be exposed to the virus in an outbreak.
For those that do have to be booked into the jail, there's now an extra screening process involved.
"Anybody that is coming into the jail we're asking them a series of questions to see if they could possibly have the COVID 19 virus we're also checking everybody's temperatures," said Hilliard. "If they do say yes to certain questions we have our medical staff do further evaluation and then we make that choice if we want to accept them or if we want them to get evaluated somewhere else."
The Midland County Jail is also changing the way they're doing visits-they're now using video chats.
The Ector County Jail is also not allowing visitors, minimizing intakes and screening prisoners for COVID-19.
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