BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) has confirmed that they are relocating around 140 inmates from Perryville Prison to Hickman's Family Farms in Buckeye due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a press release from ADC, the inmates would remain at Hickman's for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency in hopes of preventing the potential spread of the virus at the prison.
Governor Ducey has issues an Executive Order Wednesday that would require health insurance companies to expand their telemedicine coverage for all services so that Arizonans don't have to go to the doctor in-person.
“Many of these women inmates perform critical tasks related to the raising of baby chicks. Besides daily care, they also perform most of the tasks of vaccination,” said Glenn Hickman, President of Hickman’s Family Farm. “Their proper care today ensures an uninterrupted food supply tomorrow. It has been our family’s privilege to help thousands of inmates learn life skills that keep them productive members of society, well after they leave this program.”
Inmates will be working on the farm during their time there.
The inmates from Perryville are classified as minimum custody, meaning they represent a low risk to the public and staff. This is the same classification of inmates that have been working at this location for years. These inmates will be closely monitored and supervised by correctional officers and Hickman’s personnel at all times.
Six inmates have so far been tested for coronavirus but there are no confirmed cases yet.
"It really is a concern for us controlling the spread of infectious disease. Inmates entering and exiting our facilities are primary concern," said Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn. "This gives us the ability to permanently deploy this crew of 139 female inmates."