Federal Judge Orders CDCR to Set Aside COVID-19 Quarantine Space

In light of a significant number of COVID-19 cases, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Jon Tigar on Wednesday issued an order to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requiring the state to develop a plan to vacate at least 100 beds in each prison throughout the state for quarantine and isolation purposes. The order allows the state to make at least 100 beds available through other means, such as converted indoor spaces or tents.

CDCR, in a statement, indicated they will be working closely with court-appointed Federal Receiver J. Clark Kelso and other public health and health care experts to identify at least 100 beds at each institution in the event of an outbreak. According to CDCR, once spaces are identified, CDCR and the Federal Receiver will be conducting ongoing assessments to determine if additional space is required at an institution on a regular basis. The move is anticipated to contribute to the department’s ability to address potential COVID-19 outbreaks and protect inmates and staff.