Detection and Mitigation of COVID-19 in Confinement Facilities: Introductory Webinar for Confinement Facilities
In January 2023, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the CNA Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) team hosted an informational webinar for correctional staff, sheriffs, and confinement facility administrators, operators, and healthcare personnel. The webinar focused on BJA’s COVID-19 Detection and Mitigation in Confinement Facilities (CDMCF) TTA program. The webinar provided a CDMCF program overview, highlighted TTA services available and how recipients can access support, and held a discussion on best practices and lessons learned.
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Eric Trabert: Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Eric Trabert, and thank you for joining today's webinar. I am a director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience at CNA, and I'm also serving as the project manager for the Bureau of Justice Assistance COVID-19 Detection of Mitigation and Confinement Facilities Training and Technical Assistance Program
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Eric Trabert: So, thank you all very much for joining. As I mentioned earlier, I think we had over two hundred registrants so very excited to see that type of turnout and interest in this program, and our goal today is to give you an overview of the program and of the TTA that's available.
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Eric Trabert: We will be putting some links in the chat today. So please keep an eye on that. To start with, we have a link to a sign-in sheet.
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Eric Trabert: I know many people that are attending the webinar today received the invitation second hand through other parties. And we’d ask if you would like to go into that sign-in sheet, please, and provide your contact information, that'll make sure that we can send you any follow up resources, materials, or guidance for the TTA Center, including notifications for future webinars and that sort of thing. It would be very helpful. So, keep a look out for that, and please go ahead and sign in.
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Eric Trabert: Okay, so before we dive into the content, I want to go over a few things for today's webinar. We are recording the webinar for those that were not able to attend, and we will provide that recording, as well as a transcript and the slides from today. As that'll be posted to BJA’s project page, and we will send out an announcement once those are posted and available for you.
Eric Trabert: We have also enabled the live captioning function. So if you would like to use that you should see a button on the lower toolbar on the screen that says live transcript, you can click on that and view subtitles or a transcript from today.
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Eric Trabert: As I mentioned before, we're going to be using the chat function quite a bit. So, if you have questions while we're going through the presentation today please submit those in the chat at any time, and we do have folks that are monitoring the chat, and they will keep track of any questions that are there.
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Eric Trabert: We would like to hold answering questions until some designated time at the end of the presentation, but then we'd love to answer or try to answer any questions that folks have. And lastly, we do have a feedback form that we would ask you to complete at the end of the webinar.
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Eric Trabert: It's really important for us to get your feedback, so we can continuously improve these types of offerings and make sure that we are providing the type of information that's most useful and helpful to you. And on that feedback form there's also an area for people to submit ideas for topics for future webinars.
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Eric Trabert: So we would love to hear any ideas or topics you have to focus future webinars on.
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Eric Trabert: So, we will also link to the webinar feedback form in the chat function and ask that you complete that. So, our agenda for today is pretty straightforward. We will have some opening remarks to kick things off from Sara Sullivan. Sara is the point of contact for BJA on this TTA program. I will then provide a high-level overview of the program itself, and also introduce our project team.
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Eric Trabert: I will then turn things over to my colleague, Tammy Felix, and she is the TTA coordinator, and she will talk to you about the types of TTA support and resources that are available and how to access those resources and sort of our general approach to providing TTA through the program.
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Eric Trabert: And then, as I mentioned, we will have ample time for your questions, and also any feedback that folks attending today might have in terms of focus areas for TTA needs in the confinement setting for TTA support.
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Eric Trabert: Okay, with that I will turn things over to Sara, who, as I mentioned is a senior policy advisor in the Bureau of Justice Assistance and is the lead government point of contact for the COVID Detection and Mitigation in Confinement Facilities TTA Center, Sara.
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Sara Sullivan: Thank you Eric. I'm really happy to be here and really excited to see the interest and how many people registered and are participating in the webinar. I just want to thank everyone for joining and excited to share with you the technical assistance that will be available to you. A little bit of the background on this project, so this is a partnership between the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the US Department of Justice and the CDC.
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Sara Sullivan: A series of funds that Eric will talk about later was passed through the American Rescue Plan Act that made funding available to state and local jurisdictions to assist with COVID-19.
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Sara Sullivan: As part of that funding, CDC partnered with BJA to provide technical assistance not only to recipients of that funding but to the field at large.
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Sara Sullivan: So, Eric will talk about that funding that’s available but also the TA, the technical assistance that’s available to you regardless of if you are receiving any of those funds. We’re really excited that we’ve been able to bring CNA on board along with their partners at the American Correctional Association and the American Jails Association.
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Sara Sullivan: CNA and the team has a wide array of expertise particularly in both public health and specifically infectious diseases, as well as in criminal justice and corrections. And so the marrying of those two experiences, I think will really pose a huge value to corrections facilities throughout the country and to the technical assistance that will be available.
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Sara Sullivan: We understand, even though we're launching this now, we understand we’re two and a half years, almost three years, into the pandemic about a year and a half into the funding being available. But we also know that there are still needs out in the field. We also know that this is a good time to reflect on what’s happened over the past three years to really help identify lessons learned that can assist with future planning and discussions on how to make the good changes that have been made sustainable and how to learn from each other.
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Sara Sullivan: So I know I’ve spoken with some of you that are on this webinar. I’ve spoken over the past year since I've joined BJA with many confinement facilities who, over the past year I've been able to provide some assistance until we were able to get CNA and team on board.
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Sara Sullivan: And I believe some of you have been at some of our recent webinars in June and September, but really excited to have them on board. They have the capacity to provide much more technical assistance than I've been able to just with me as a solo team member until I brought them on board. So, happy that they can provide that more comprehensive and targeted technical assistance and training to everyone.
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Sara Sullivan: With that I'll be around in case I can help answer any questions throughout the webinar, but with that Eric, I’ll pass it back over to you.
Eric Trabert: Great thanks, Sara. Let's get into it with an overview of the program. As Sara mentioned, about seven hundred million in federal funding was provided through the American Rescue Plan Act passed in 2021, and that funding was targeted towards supporting COVID-19 Detection and Mitigation in Confinement Settings.
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Eric Trabert: The funding was dispersed via an existing cooperative agreement that CDC has known as the ELC cooperative agreement. ELC stands from epidemiology and laboratory capacity for prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases.
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Eric Trabert: Since that mechanism was already available, it was a quick way to get the funding out to the states. There are 64 recipients of the ELC cooperative agreement, and those are the public health authorities in all 50 states. There are six major localities that you see on the side there that are also recipients of the ELC cooperative agreement as well as US territories and freely associated states.
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Eric Trabert: So they received the funding. It was based on a formula that looked at the total incarcerated population in each jurisdiction of those 64, divided into the total national incarcerated population. That's how the funding was divvied out.
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Eric Trabert: As Sarah mentioned, the project period was from August of 2021. That's when the funds originally were put out, and it extends through the end of July in 2024.
Eric Trabert: Now, when the recipients received that funding, and there was explicit guidance attached to that, that they should work with their partners in the states and in the localities to get that funding down to the local level and throughout the state to try to reach the broadest complement of confinement facilities in their jurisdiction. And as Sarah mentioned, because of the target population here being confinement settings, CDC did partner and is working quite closely with BJA to administer this program, and also to stand up and operate this training and technical assistance center.
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Eric Trabert: So, what do we mean by confinement facilities here? The eligible facility types under this cooperative agreement include adult prisons and jails, juvenile confinement facilities, community lockups, and also community confinement facilities as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, 28 115.5, and that includes other facilities, such as halfway houses, mental health facilities, community correctional facilities that are residential re-entry type centers or programs.
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Eric Trabert: If you have a question about eligibility from a facility standpoint you can look under the Code of Federal Regulations, or even reach out to us directly with a question. We will be providing an email address that you can use to reach out to us directly with any questions related to eligibility for facility types.
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Eric Trabert: Okay, so part of this award there were 15 of allowable activities, and one of those activities was mandatory for all 64 recipients, and that was to use the funding to assist in establishing diagnostic and screening testing programs for residents or inmates or detainees in these facilities, as well as staff or visitors. That was mandatory for all 64 recipients to include in their work plans for this funding.
Eric Trabert: There were also fourteen optional activities that they could participate in as part of their work plans for this funding, and I've listed those up here on the slide.
Eric Trabert: There is a guidance document that we will put a link to in the chat. I encourage everyone to read that guidance document. It'll go into some more detail about these optional activities, but they really spread across a broad range of things that we could do with the funding, everything from ongoing testing and contact tracing support to using the funding for developing and implementing strategies around quarantine and isolation.
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Eric Trabert: The funding can be spent on things like developing social distancing policies and sanitation policies, and also training staff on those policies as well as best practices and infection control and sanitation. And then, at sort of a more broad level the funding can also be used for purposes of emergency planning at a facility level for supporting coordination with public health authorities and for looking at things like development and implementation of policies and strategies around population reduction and diversion.
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Eric Trabert: On this slide I've just included some examples of allowable costs. This is not meant to be an exhausted list. And again, if you have questions about potential allowable activities or allowable costs with the funding you can reach out to us directly. We can coordinate with our partners at CDC and BJA and get answers and clarification for you on that.
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Eric Trabert: But the funding can be used for things like hiring of personnel, whether there's temporary personnel or full-time personnel entering into contracts with consultant staff to support COVID testing and mitigation. It can be used for things like purchasing COVID testing supplies, mask, gloves, gowns, personal protective equipment of that nature provided that's again being used to support work plan activities related to COVID testing and mitigation.
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Eric Trabert: It can be used for retrofitting or doing building renovations to existing structures to help enhance things like physical distancing or isolation and quarantine capability within the facility, or to improve ventilation systems or mitigating the risk of a viral transmission in the facility.
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Eric Trabert: There are also allowable costs related to purchasing of equipment to help implement some of the strategies related to COVID testing and mitigation, so that could be purchasing tablets to support communications between inmates detainees with family or with legal counsel or representatives. It can be used for things like improving or enhancing internet access in the facilities or wi-fi. And it can also be used for things like hiring contractors to do needs assessments and then help you implement results of those needs assessments.
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Eric Trabert: So if there are a certain activities that you want to undertake to improve the mitigation against viral transmission in the facility, and there are related effects on the population in that facility you can use the funding for those purposes as well.
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Eric Trabert: We have produced a frequently asked questions document that we’re going to be putting out very soon. And again, if we have your contact information, we'll make sure you all receive that.
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Eric Trabert: That also goes into some more detail about allowable activities and allowable costs through the program.
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Eric Trabert: By all means feel free to reach out to us if you have questions, and we can help answer those questions for you about a specific activity.
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Eric Trabert: So that was just a quick overview of the program itself. I wanted to introduce myself, and CNA for those of you who are not familiar with our organization, and also our team members on this important contract.
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Eric Trabert: CNA entered into this agreement with BJA to support the stand-up and operation of the training and technical assistance program, and as Sara mentioned when she spoke, our services are available to the recipients of the award, and available to subrecipients. So if the health authorities partner with sheriff's associations or with jail administrators down the facility level to get that funding down, we are there to support them as well, but also importantly, I want to stress that we are here to support facilities that may not be direct recipients of this funding, but may be looking for assistance or resources related to COVID-19 testing and mitigation in their facility.
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Eric Trabert: So even if you're a facility that's not receiving direct support or direct funds through this program you can still reach out to us, and we can provide you with resources, best practices, or with support with training or development of strategies, anything along those lines.
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Eric Trabert: So CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization. We've been around since 1942, and we are based in Arlington, Virginia. I've been at the organization for the past twenty years, and as I mentioned earlier, I run CNA’s Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience.
Eric Trabert: My background is as an epidemiologist, and I've spent my career at CNA really working in the area of public health emergency preparedness and response. So, in addition to obviously being quite busy over the past three years with COVID-19, including working on over a dozen after action reports and lessons learned reports for national and state and local partners.
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Eric Trabert: I've also had the ability to participate in response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic as well as Ebola, Zika, and actually as far back as the original SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. So this is an area that I’m really familiar with and feel quite passionate about, so I feel fortunate to be part of this program.
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Eric Trabert: In addition to CNA's public health work, as Sara mentioned, we also operate centers of expertise in criminal justice and corrections through our Justice Research and Innovation Center, and also in vulnerable population protection.
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Eric Trabert: And what was important to us as part of this project was to make sure that the team we put forward brings expertise from those different centers together to support this program, because we feel it's really important to have an interdisciplinary perspective coming in to support confinement facilities with COVID detection and mitigation understanding not just the public health aspect of it, but also criminal justice, correction side of it and the work we've done working with vulnerable populations.
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Eric Trabert: We also have quite a lot of experience supporting national level training and technical assistance programs. So this is one of several national TTA programs that we support through the Department of Justice, in particular the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and we also support national training technical assistance programs through the Department of Health and Human Services.
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Eric Trabert: So, very familiar with this type of work and what it takes to try to be successful in reaching the end users for these funds.
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Eric Trabert: But obviously we can't do this alone. We're very fortunate to have a wonderful team of partners who are with us in this effort, including the American Correctional Association, the American Jail Association, and the Correctional Leaders Association. All of whom have significant experience in correctional operations and policy, large networks of subject matter experts who have been doing work in this field for decades, and we really are fortunate to be able to draw on that type of expertise.
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Eric Trabert: I wanted to call on representatives from each of these facilities, just to say a few words about their involvement. Betty, if you don't mind taking yourself off mute, and saying a few words about ACA’s involvement in this project.
Betty Gondles: Good afternoon, everybody. We are so excited about being a part of this initiative with CDC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, CNA, and our other partners; The American Jail Association, and Correctional Leaders Association.
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Betty Gondles: We have at the American Correctional Association an accrediting body. We accredit jails and prisons, probation and parole, halfway houses at ACA, and also we have a full time department with the office of Correctional Health with the seven full time employees with a contract employees additional.
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Betty Gondles: Our full-time employees, there's a director of that department who’s a physician assistant along with a masters of public health, and for this initiative we have put together a team to help with this technical assistance training; two medical doctors, and two former secretaries of corrections, one being a health authority, and one coming up through the Texas system into Wyoming. Bob Lampert, who's been in corrections many, many years. We have Wendy Kelley, who was the Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. So she came up in the system, and also was a health authority for the coalition and represented Arkansas in the coalition of correctional health authorities.
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Betty Gondles: We have Dr. Jennifer Clarke, medical doctor who was a health authority for Rhode Island Department of Corrections, which is a unified system that represents jails and prisons for many years in the unified system as their health authority. And also Dr. Kathleen Maurer, who was the health authority for Connecticut Department of Corrections, also another unified system that represents jails and prisons.
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Betty Gondles: ACA represents all of the corrections field, from arrest to reentry, and we are very excited that we put together this team along with subject matter experts, for example, Dr. Harvin Steele, the health authority in Nebraska. Tony Wilkes, the Chief of Corrections for jails in Davison County, Tennessee, Dr. Lynette Linthicum, the health authority and the oldest health authority for corrections in the country with over thirty 35 years’ experience in correctional health.
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Betty Gondles: I think we've really put together a great team with the rest of the excellent expertise at CNA, and CLA, and AJA, and I look forward to really being able to serve the field through this initiative for training and technical assistance to serve the staff of corrections as well as the population we serve.
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Betty Gondles: Thank you very much for including the American Correctional Association in this initiative.
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Eric Trabert: Thanks, Betty. We appreciate it, and we appreciate your support as part of our team to the project.
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Eric Trabert: I want to see if Chris Daniels is on from the American Jail Association. Chris, if you're on and you want to take yourself off mute and say a few words?
Chris Daniels: Sure, thanks, Eric.
Chris Daniels: So, likewise American Jail Association is very pleased to play a leadership and supportive role in this initiative. Obviously, this has been an important topic for us for the past couple of years, if you attend our conference, you know that. If you participate in our iConnect discussion forums, you know that there’s been a tremendous amount of discussion and information sharing on our forums in particular.
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Chris Daniels: Likewise, we have a team of subject matter experts who are committed to this initiative, and you'll find that there's going to be a lot of discussion about this initiative at our upcoming conference in Omaha in May. That's our Annual Conference and Jail Expo. So I would encourage you to join us there if you want to participate in those discussions.
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Chris Daniels: We obviously provide in-person training as most of you probably know and online training, and we are also able to come out to your facilities and provide training and technical assistance as well. So we stand ready to do that, and will provide support around this initiative in that way too. Just reach out.
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Chris Daniels: Just reach out to me. You can get more information about AJA and all that we do on our website, which is AJA.Org.
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Chris Daniels: I’d also like to recognize Darren Sieger, our President. He's on the call as well. So I just wanted to acknowledge Darren and again, we're very excited to participate in this opportunity. Thank you.
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Eric Trabert: Thank you, Chris. Finally from CLA, Stevyn Fogg. If you're on, would you like to take yourself off mute and say a few words?
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Stevyn Fogg: Yes, I am on. Good afternoon, everyone. Happy to be here in continuing to partner on this topic.
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Stevyn Fogg: We have been working with CNA in a variety of ways on the topic of COVID-19 and lessons learned, operational changes. But one of the things that we know is that throughout the years is that jails and prisons have successfully dealt with contagious hygiene and health issues, and one of the ways that we've done that is that we have provided resources. So this is another opportunity for us to partner with the wonderful people at ACA, AJA, and of course, CNA to get resources out to the field.
Stevyn Fogg: Make sure we create that feedback loop to find out what's working, what's not working, and see if we can do what Sara said earlier, ‘implement sustainable changes.’ And so this is a great opportunity, we stand ready as a representative to executive leaders in all 50 states, four territories, four large jail systems, and the military correction system, to do whatever we can to support this effort. So thank you for inviting me.
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Eric Trabert: Thank you Stevyn, appreciate that. And just a quick thanks to in ACA, and AJA, and CLA, for using their networks to get the word out about today's webinar. It was essential for us, in terms of trying to reach as many people as possible with this information, so I’m really appreciative of it.
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Eric Trabert: Okay, I am going to turn things over now to my colleague, Tammy Felix, who I mentioned earlier, is our lead TTA coordinator for this effort, and she's going to walk through with you our approach to delivering TTA and the resources that are available and how to access those, so, Tammy?
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Tammy Felix: Thanks, Eric. Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Tammy Felix. I'm a senior research scientist with CNA’s Center for Justice Research and Innovation. I've been with CNA for almost 19 years now, and my background is in operations research and analysis with criminal justice agencies and organizations.
Tammy Felix: And also, I have a background and experience in emergency preparedness and response.
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Tammy Felix: So both of those, I think, will come in handy as we work through this project here. But I wanted to quickly just review our approach to TTA. As you know, Eric and Stevyn and Chris and Betty mentioned, we've assembled a really strong team for you all of coaches, analysts, and subject matter experts. Our primary approach is to work directly with the ELC recipients, so the funding recipients, to provide them each with a coach and two analysts to support them.
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Tammy Felix: We’ll have one analyst with a background in criminal justice and another analyst with a background in public health. So the idea there is that we are actively engaging in outreach now to each of the recipients to get an understanding for where they're in the funding, you know. The funding, I believe, was awarded a year ago now, and so folks have been out there trying to address all the issues and challenges around responding to COVID-19 in confinement facilities and settings.
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Tammy Felix: So we're working now with the 64 ELC recipients to get to understand what their immediate needs are and how we can support them moving forward.
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Tammy Felix: So each of the 64 recipients will be assigned a TTA coach and analyst team, and we also have through our network and our partners a broad field of subject matter experts that can help address any of the needs that may arise as facilities respond to challenges of COVID-19 detection and mitigation.
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Tammy Felix: So, as far as TTA engagement, we have three kinds of primary approaches to TTA or three levels. There's informational, short-term, and comprehensive. And really all this to say is, that there's no request that's too big or too small.
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Tammy Felix: If you have a question, chances are somebody else has that question as well, so don't feel like any question wouldn't be worth the time to ask me. We really encourage you to reach out to us, because again, we're going to be engaging with every state and all the confinement facilities that are in that jurisdiction. So we're going to have access to a wealth of information that chances are if you’re struggling with something, somebody else is, and we may already have what could be a great solution for you.
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Tammy Felix: So, please reach out to us with small questions, or you have a larger concern, say, with conducting assessments within your facility on your infection control processes. We have a lot of sites that we've already spoken with that are implementing that activity. So there's a lot of good tips and lessons learned from that. So, point being we want you to reach out to us. We've set up, I believe it’s in the chat, an email inbox for the moment until our website is up, it's [email protected].
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Tammy Felix: So we ask that you submit your request to us, and then we will reach out to you to kind of determine is this just something that we can provide you with some information? Is this something that we want to develop a broader engagement plan, where we outline kind of what your goals objectives are? And then we can determine if it requires some on-site support, or if this is something that can be done virtually, but we'll work through that with you. So again, please reach out to us, and then we can kind of scope that together.
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Tammy Felix: So again, in terms of accessing resources, we're currently now out conducting the baseline needs assessment, so really focusing on doing outreach and finding out where we can plug in where the needs are at the moment.
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Tammy Felix: And then we also encourage confinement facilities, and I believe Eric mentioned this at the top of the webinar, that you don't necessarily have to have or be using the funding that's already been released, you can reach out to us with any COVID-19 related question or concern that you may have.
Tammy Felix: So again, as I mentioned, we're doing baseline needs assessments now and developing work plans with each of the ELC recipient sites. And then, as part of that for those of you that are already working with your state department health or public health department, chances are we may have already spoken with you, but don't wait to hear from us. If you need something, we want you to know that you can reach out to us now.
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Tammy Felix: Any confinement facility can receive or request support. Just to give you an idea of the types of TTA support that is available, so again, as we engage, and as we receive TTA requests and kind of help resolve those issues that you all are facing, we'll have a breath of knowledge and resources available in terms of what your peer agencies are doing and implementing, and where they’ve found successes.
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Tammy Felix: So we want to be able to share that information with you and provide guidance on the funding available. As this project progresses, we'll be developing a series of webinars that are topically based and again based on the issues and concerns we’re hearing in the field. If you have ideas, or if you have topics now that you know you would love to see a webinar on, we encourage you to let us know that, and we can develop that material for you, and for the benefit of the field.
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Tammy Felix: We can also help with curriculum development training, and then also we currently have some tools and resources around detection and mitigation strategies. So, if that's an area of concern for you, please reach out to us. And then, as I just mentioned previously, we have a strong cadre of subject matter experts. So again, there is really probably no issue that you can bring to us that we would not have someone available to work with you and work on that issue through it with you.
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Tammy Felix: But again, no request is too big or too small. Our support and services to you are not a requirement of the funding that your state has received, and it is free to use. So, please, I encourage you to reach out to us and to use us as a resource.
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Tammy Felix: And also, I think I brought up a lot of examples of challenges. But if you have things that are really working well that you know would help others, please reach out to us and let us know that as well. So I look forward to meeting you all in person or virtually, someday soon, and thank you for your time.
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Eric Trabert: Thanks, Tammy. As you were talking there it made me think of just that last point which is one of the things that we want to be able to do through this center's work is capture things that have worked well, innovative practices or exemplary practices, that facilities have stood up over the past few years to deal with COVID and that they think are worth sharing with their colleagues in other jurisdictions. We would love to be able to highlight those as best practices or model practices.
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Eric Trabert: And that just speaks to the importance of the peer-to-peer piece of this TTA center, which is, we want to work to provide opportunities for you to collaborate with your colleagues and other jurisdictions that may be dealing with very similar issues.
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Eric Trabert: Along those lines, when we first came on board we started to engage with the funding recipients and the public health authorities. We understood that they had developed a peer group, essentially, among themselves that they could talk to one another when they had questions or were facing a challenge, and they were looking for someone to talk to about it.
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Eric Trabert: This was great. It evolved organically, and we've been able to step in and help facilitate that going forward. But we'd like to do the same thing on the confinement facility side, and even bring public health and confinement communities together to collaborate. So, shortly, we'll be looking to stand up similar peer groups for correctional facilities. And if this is something that you would be interested in, I encourage you to reach out to us.
00:32:29 --> 00:32:40
Eric Trabert: Right now, as Tammy mentioned, we have an email inbox. You see the email address on the screen. We are in the process of standing up a website which will be available.
00:32:41 --> 00:33:03
Eric Trabert: You'll be able to submit TTA requests to us directly through the website, and also be able to access resources and guidance and things like that through the website. But for now, please reach out to us via the email address that's on the screen, and we will follow up with you, and if you're interested in participating in one of those peer groups let us know, and we'll make sure that we include you as those get stood up.
Eric Trabert: I think that's it on my end. We have some time now if there are any questions that we're submitted in a chat. Anna did you have any questions that were submitted in the chat?
00:33:12 --> 00:33:25
Anna Richey: Yes, there was one question from Betsy Thomas which I believe Tammy addressed. This question was, “We received some grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Do we need to address questions to them directly?”
00:33:26 --> 00:33:35
Eric Trabert: So, questions that the facility has, I’m guessing whoever submitted that? Do you need to submit questions you have to the recipient, to the state health services department?
00:33:36 --> 00:33:54
Tammy Felix: Yeah, Eric, I think that was the thought. So I actually entered a response into the chat to let Betsy know that she can reach out to them directly, or you are free to reach out to us, and we can facilitate requests, and that goes for everybody. Because some of this is going to vary state to state in terms of how the grant recipient wants to handle that, but we’re happy to facilitate.
00:33:55 --> 00:34:02
Eric Trabert: Yeah, that's what I was going to mention. We can be the bridge if you would like to do that facilitation, or you are welcome to reach out and coordinate with them directly.
00:34:03 --> 00:34:20
Eric Trabert: Were there any other questions in the chat? If not, if anybody has some questions, feel free to take yourself off mute, and ask away. While we wait for folks to think of some questions to ask, Sara, was there anything else you wanted to make a point of based on our discussion or anything that we might’ve missed that you wanted to emphasize?
00:34:21 --> 00:34:51
Sara Sullivan: Nothing that comes to mind. The only thing I’ll say is if you know that you could benefit from assistance but you’re not exactly sure of what that would look like, so for example, you know you want to sustain things that you’ve had in place but not sure how CNA or the team could help you do that. Or you’re having some challenges with a potential outbreak, but you don’t know how they could assist. You don’t need to come with a particular request, like you’re asking CNA to do x, y, and z.
00:34:52 --> 00:35:02
Sara Sullivan: You’re asking ACA to do x, y, and z, you can just come with the problem. You could just come with the issue that you're having, and they will work with you to identify ways that they may be able to assist.
00:35:03 --> 00:35:58
Sara Sullivan: So just one thing to know and feel free to use that email. If you’re interested to send an email, I’m sure Eric and Tammy and team will follow up with that. Eric had mentioned the peer group that has been put together for the health departments, and he may have also mentioned that we’ve been thinking about putting something together similar for confinement facilities. So, if you are interested in being connected with other confinement facilities around the country to talk about lessons learned, to talk about challenges you’re facing, to talk about maybe there's something exciting that you're doing that you think others will be interested in. That is a group that CNA will be putting together, and if you're interested in it, more information will come out. But preliminarily, if you’re interested in it, feel free to shoot an email to that CNA email and kind of get you started on that list.
00:35:59 --> 00:36:25
Sara Sullivan: A couple of questions came through. Oh, here’s one, “What are BJA and CDC's plans to ensure that each ELC provides funding to the fullest complement of facilities in each jurisdiction?” Sean, thank you for your question. So, for each of the ELC recipients, they had to submit their project plan and their budget for how they are going to use those funds.
00:36:26 --> 00:36:39
Sara Sullivan: Those plans and budgets were reviewed by both CDC and BJA in order to ensure that it met the requirements of the funding.
00:36:40 --> 00:37:10
Sara Sullivan: So, many recipients we highlighted that it was not clear how they were working with local jurisdictions to ensure the fullest complement of facilities are reached in this jurisdiction. Now, this doesn’t mean that they have to reach every single facility in the jurisdiction, or that every facility in that state will get funding. It just means that they have to one, make sure that they're covering the array of confinement facility types.
00:37:11 --> 00:37:47
Sara Sullivan: They can't just give all the money to the state department of corrections and call it a day, right. They have to be working local leaders, local criminal justice partners in order to assess the needs the local facilities and identify ways that the funding could help assist those facilities, as well as juvenile facilities, community corrections facilities. That’s kind of some of the processes that are put in place, and we’ve been working with quite a number of recipients that help them think through what is the best way for them to reach local facilities. So I hope that answers your question.
00:37:48 --> 00:38:09
Anna Richey: And it looks like there were two more questions that popped into the chat, one before I dropped the feedback form. This was somebody who asked if there was any chance that the grant dates spending will be extended as they were not able to get all up and running and cannot fully complete in the deadline. I believe that's from a sub recipient of Alabama’s department of public health.
00:38:10 --> 00:38:35
Sara Sullivan: Thank you for asking that question. I've been working with CDC to try to figure out the answer to that exact question. I had that exact question as well, will there be a possibility for no cost extension? I'm still working with them to figure out if that's possible. But if you’re registered for this webinar, then you are on our email list. So, when information like that comes out, you will receive that information.
00:38:36 --> 00:39:05
Sara Sullivan: That kind of information might go directly to your recipient, and it will be up to them if you are a sub recipient in order to share that information. But hopefully, that will be coming out shortly. We know that were a lot of delays in getting some of the funding out, getting contracts in place, etc. So, we understand that that's an issue, and we're going to see what we could do to see if it’s possible to extend or not. We just have to look I think to see if there are any legislative requirements that might limit us from doing that.
00:39:06 --> 00:39:17
Anna Richey: And there was one more follow-up question if the presentation slides would be distributed, at which Tammy just replied that the webinar is being recorded, and the slides and the recording will be made available to all registrants.
00:39:18 --> 00:39:55
Eric Trabert: I did want to just foot stomp something Sara said, which is, if you're unsure of whether we have your contact information let's say someone passed along a notice of this webinar today, you didn't formally register for it, please use the link in the chat to sign in. You can also just email us directly to the email that's on the slide right here with your name and contact information. Because we want to make sure that when we do have resources to put out our guidance, for example, CDC just updated its guidance in late November, so we were able to blast out just a quick summary of what that guidance said, and how it changed from previous guidance.
00:39:56 --> 00:40:13
Eric Trabert: So, things like that we want to make sure we're reaching as broad an audience as possible. We do have a list serv set up, and when we publish frequently ask questions or fact sheets or anything along those lines we want to make sure that you're able to receive those materials, so please reach out to us to make sure we have your contact information.
00:40:14 --> 00:40:40
Sara Sullivan: I see another question came through that I think is for me, “I understand that some states have not accepted the funds. If there are monies left over, will the balance of the seven hundred million be distributed?” So, to date only one recipient has not accepted the funds. I don't know what's going to happen with that funding. If I get clarity on what's going to happen, and that's something that I can share, we will definitely be sure to include that in future communication.
00:40:41 --> 00:40:46
Sara Sullivan: Especially if that will impact the amount of funding that other recipients receive.
00:40:47 --> 00:41:20
Eric Trabert: One other thing I wanted to chime in with while we're here is facilitating the peer-to-peer collaboration. Another thing we want to be able to do as a TTA center is work with facilities to assess the impact that different activities are having within the facilities, so we can identify things that are working well and things that may need to be changed. So as you think about activities that you might want to do, we also have staff that can help work with you around identifying performance measures or assessment strategies so that we can take a look at how things are working and whether it's having the desired impact. Any other questions?
00:41:21 --> 00:42:14
Sara Sullivan: Another funding question, “As we see the landscape change at other opportunities for mitigation emerge, can a request for funding be amended?” Yes, it can. What I should say, as far as BJA and CDC are concerned, they can, it is up to the recipient if they want to submit a request for a funding change. So, if you are a sub recipient, and you want to make a change in the use of your funds, the first line of contact would be your recipient to talk to them about that being a possibility. It'll be up to them if that's something that they want to approve on their end, and then they would submit it to us for approval. But yeah, I’d say on a monthly basis we get redirect requests, because people are identifying different needs that they have, or something is coming in under budget, and they want to redirect the funding somewhere else.
00:42:15 --> 00:42:16
Eric Trabert: Any other questions?
00:42:17 --> 00:42:17
Darren Sieger: Eric, can you hear me?
00:42:18 --> 00:42:18
Eric Trabert: Hi Darren, yes, I can.
00:42:19 --> 00:42:48
Darren Sieger: Hey, I know some questions were coming in, it seems like there's a pause. I just want to say on behalf of the industry, just want to thank you know, Sara from OJP, and you Eric and Tammy from CNA for supporting the industry and working hard to get us resources and help us where we need help. It takes a lot of work. I know you guys make it look very easy on this video conference here, but I know there's a lot that goes into it, and it's as good as how hard you guys work to help us get things done. So just want to say thank you.
00:42:49 --> 00:43:29
Eric Trabert: Thanks Darren, appreciate that. We want to do whatever we can to support, like you said. Whether that’s through subject matter expertise or resources, or what have you, so appreciate the compliment. If there are no other questions, we do have a few minutes here if anybody does have feedback that you think would be useful in terms of specific focus areas where TTA is really needed right now in the field. We would love to hear that. If you're not comfortable saying that as part of the webinar, feel free to reach out to us through the project email site, because any guidance you can provide on where the needs are right now will be really helpful to making sure we're using our time and resources most effectively.
00:43:30 --> 00:43:57
Eric Trabert: Likewise, I should say, too, as we mentioned earlier, we're very interested in lessons learned, best practices, and that sort of thing. So, if you feel you're doing something really well, and it's working quite good for you, and I know I mentioned this earlier, like you think somebody else would benefit from it we would love to hear that. We can talk about ways to get that information out to the broader community, whether it's through a case study, or through a future webinar, where we profile practices that seem to be working well.
00:43:58 --> 00:43:59
Brandon Halleck: Hey Eric, this is Brandon Halleck from Indiana.
00:44:00 --> 00:44:00
Eric Trabert: Hey, Brandon.
00:44:01 --> 00:44:27
Brandon Halleck: Hey. So is this webinar going to be sent out after it's completed because I missed part of it because I was on a phone call, and then I got pulled away for another call. So I missed part of this aspect of it. But when I'm, seeing some of the participants on this, I see potential sheriffs, jail commanders on there, so I really would love to actually hear their feedback from the correction side of how this collaboration could even work better.
Brandon Halleck: I think also, when we talk about bringing parties in because we have other health departments assisting on this ELC grant, working with confinement spaces, but also trying to bring in their medical personnel as well, because there's always been that miscommunication from the health department to medical and to the sheriff for jail commander. So, trying to bridge those general communication gaps.
00:44:51 --> 00:45:18
Eric Trabert: Thanks, Brandon. Yes, the webinar is going to be made available. The slides, the transcript, webinar, and recording will be available shortly after today. We have to go through and do the transcript, which takes a little bit of time. But once we get that posted we'll send a notice out to everybody on how they can access that. And your second point there made me think of something which is that our team will be down at the ACA annual meeting later this month.
00:45:19 --> 00:45:37
Eric Trabert: So, if you're going to be in attendance, and you would like to meet up and talk to us, feel free to shoot us an email and we can coordinate and see if there's time to get together. That includes two of our four TTA coaches that are going to be there as well, so it's a good opportunity for us to meet with folks on the field and get some feedback.
00:45:19 --> 00:46:01
Eric Trabert: We’re also going to be hosting a session while we're down there to get feedback from correctional health authorities on lessons learned from COVID, which to your point is going to be, I think, really instrumental in hearing the correctional health side what were some of the challenges and some of the lessons learned and exemplary practices that were put in place, and what are some things that may be important to sustain going forward. So I hope that helps answer your question.
00:46:02 --> 00:46:03
Brandon Halleck: Yes, thank you.
00:46:04 --> 00:46:44
Eric Trabert: Okay, if there's nothing else, it's close to the top of the hour, just a few next steps I wanted to talk to everybody about. We’ll beat this over the head. Here is our project email inbox. Don't hesitate to use it. If you have the webinar feedback form please complete that. Any feedback or guidance you have on how to make these better and more useful to you or any future topics you would like to see covered, we're really interested in getting your feedback. I mentioned earlier, we put together several fact sheets and FAQs regarding this program that will be coming out very shortly, and if we have your contact information will make sure that you are in receipt of those once they are ready to go out.
00:46:45 --> 00:47:04
Eric Trabert: And we'll be looking to schedule some future webinars coming up. We've come across through our baseline needs assessments, things that we think are interesting that the broader community might want to learn about. So we will be developing a schedule of some future webinars and topics, and please be on the lookout for those. We would love to have good participation in those as well.
00:47:05 --> 00:47:29
Eric Trabert: Finally, we have started to put together a pretty comprehensive resource library looking at resources for COVID detection and mitigation that were already out there in the public domain. So, we want to provide access to you for those. And then, of course, as we develop resources throughout the course of this project, we'll be adding those to this resource library that are available to other folks who are a part of this grant.
00:47:30 --> 00:48:23
Sara Sullivan: Just one final comment or thought, we know that historically there's been limited opportunities for confinement facilities, corrections facilities to access federal funds and to access technical assistance, federal technical assistance as well. We heard you. We heard the field, and that's why CDC and us work closely together to get this project up and running in order to be able to make a pathway to have this earmarked funding available to confinement facilities as well as this technical assistance. So, know that the feedback just generally that you provide to folks at BJA and at DOJ is heard and listened to, and you know, when we are able, we take action in order to make sure that we can meet the needs of the field.
00:48:24 --> 00:48:28
Sara Sullivan: Thank you for your feedback and really excited to engage with you all.
00:48:28 --> 00:48:41
Eric Trabert: Thanks, Sara, and thank you everybody who was able to participate today really appreciate it and look forward to working with you on this important topic. So take care, have a good rest of your week, and hopefully, we'll talk soon. Bye now.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.