PHOENIX — Some Arizona inmates are being housed at the Hickman's Egg Farms facility in Buckeye while officials work to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry says about 140 female inmates from Perryville Prison in the West Valley will be moved to the farm temporarily.
The "minimum custody" inmates already work at the farm as part of the ADCRR's 25-year partnership with Hickman's. The inmates are said to be closely monitored at the site.
"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, families, and staff from across the Arizona state prison system have expressed a growing concern about the corrections department’s ability to handle a coronavirus outbreak.
ADCRR has said they have a robust plan in place to prevent and manage any outbreak of COVID-19.
ADCRR said Wednesday they have no known confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. Six inmates have been tested for the virus and results are pending.
Aside from the Hickman's farms work team, ADCRR said Wednesday they "will immediately pull back all off-site, work crews until national and local public health experts consider the COVID19 virus no longer a threat."