In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Corrections is not taking any chance of exposing the inmates and detainees to the virus.
DOC Major Antone Aguon tells PNC that they have adjusted their operations to ensure the risk of infection does not make its way into the Mangilao and Hagåtña facilities which house a total of 650 inmates and detainees.
“We have temporarily suspended all social visits at least for the next 30 days. That means the family visits are suspended. We have prisoner movements as far as facility transfers unless it’s really a priority that we move someone, we have suspended all prisoner movement at the facilities. Volunteers are also suspended,” Aguon said.
Aguon says that they are also discouraging attorneys from visiting the facility to meet with clients. Instead, they have ensured that arrangements are made for telephone meetings with attorneys. Magistrate appearances are also done remotely.
He says at this time all new detainees are being held at the Hagåtña Detention Facility where they are screened for COVID- 19, adding that if necessary, testing for COVID-19 will be done at GMH as DOC does not have any testing kits.
“Every prisoner is screened and asked a series of questions and of course if they display any symptom, or need to be reviewed, they will be isolated until they see a medical doctor,” Aguon said.
As of today, no inmates, detainees or correctional officers have exhibited symptoms. He also shares that the numbers of incoming detainees has dropped indicating that it appears that the courts are releasing arrestees on their personal recognizance.
The Judiciary of Guam and the District Court have also suspended all weekend confines from having to report at this time.