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KCCC inmates take advantage of vaccine incentive

WAILUA — As of Wednesday, there have been 131 inmates at the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center who have completed vaccination as part of the state Department of Public Safety’s vaccine-incentive program, according to DPS Health Care Division data.

In mid-October, the department announced the creation of a vaccine-incentive program for inmates.

Inmates in DPS custody on or after March 3, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2024, who are still in custody and fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are eligible to receive a one-time incentive award of $50. The payments are deposited into the inmate’s spendable trust account.

The number of inmates, both in state and at Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, who completed their vaccine doses and qualified for the incentive jumped from 2,530 reported on Oct. 14 to 3,916 as of Dec. 15.

This vaccination total cannot be compared to the current inmate population as the inmate population is transient and changes frequently, according to the DPS.

“To see 1,386 more inmates choose to get vaccinated in this time since we started offering the incentive proves that this program is working,” said Tommy Johnson, DPS deputy director for corrections.

“We hope to see more inmates take part in this program and make the important decision to safeguard themselves and those around them,” he said.

the DPS requested and received approval for $615,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds to be specifically used as an incentive initiative for offenders in custody. So far $144,000 has been expended. This incentive payment is not available to state employees.

The DPS continues to encourage all staff to voluntarily get tested and receive the COVID-19 vaccination. According to the governor’s direction, all state employees are eligible for up to two hours of administrative leave (per dose) to take the COVID-19 vaccine during normal work hours, as operations permit.
Source: The Garden Island

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