So far, the agency has approved exemptions for nearly 16% of its workforce, which corrections officials said were largely for religions reasons.
At the height of the pandemic last year, up to 300,000 incarcerated individuals were in solitary, according to estimates.
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A former Oregon state prisoner alleges his finger was amputated because of malpractice by a doctor at the Columbia River Correctional Institution in North Portland.
State health officials report that the largest active COVID-19 outbreaks in Oregon are in its prisons: More than 3,000 inmates have tested positive for the disease, while 38 have died.
A grand jury looking into conditions at Multnomah County’s jails found the majority of inmates have either mental health or substance abuse issues.
The Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday designed to protect corrections officers from exposure to HIV or Hepatitis C, but discussion around the bill may have sensationalized the risk of acquiring these diseases.
Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Pendleton, has introduced two bills that are designed to improve public policy at the intersection of healthcare and corrections, allowing the physicians of prison guards to get information about HIV exposure and closing a loophole to require health insurers to cover medical costs for juveniles held on bail.