ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Ouachita River Unit (ORU) male inmate intake, by groups of 50, will resume Tuesday, September 8, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) Secretary Solomon Graves.
Intakes have been on hold since June because of the pandemic outbreak at ORU, however, that is now under control.
As new inmates arrive they will be COVID-19 tested and isolated if necessary before they’re transferred to their unit. Graves explained this has put a “real burden” on county jails around the state with 1,284 inmates waiting to be transferred.
The inmate population at the end of July was 16,511 — a reduction of 1,248 inmates since January 1, 2020. This is an average of 178 inmates per month, in 2019 the average was three inmates per month, according to an August ADC Board Report.
PRISONS WITH ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES
- LINCOLN COUNTY: Varner, 190 active cases
- PULASKI COUNTY: Wrightsville, 81 active cases
- SALINE COUNTY: Benton County Work Release, 53 active cases
COMPUTER SYSTEM UPGRADE
The Arkansas Department of Health’s management system and Wellpath’s vendor records have been streamlined. This interface means lab results will be electronically processed and not manually processed — a first since the start of the pandemic. Graves said, before the interface, lab results per patient “were touched at least four times from start to finish.”
With the new system, the ADC, ADH’s lab portal, Wellpath, and all of those involved in the testing process, will have one entry point for their data, further ensuring accuracy of reporting and accelerating testing results. The system will also track patient history and help caregivers chart and change the course of patient care, when necessary.
“This is an exciting enhancement for us internally,” said Graves.