For the vast majority of people, being arrested in never a pleasant experience, but could it be a risk to your health? During the current COVID-19 pandemic that could be the case. Meeting a lot of strangers; who have they come into contact with and what is their personal hygiene like?
While being booked into the jail there’s a lot of opportunity to meet someone who could be carrying the disease.
An Example of the Process in Connecticut
Each state has their own rules and regulations, and the type of crime you commit will ultimately determine the process that takes place. In Connecticut for example there is the Part A Court and several Part B Courts.
- Part A Court handles serious crimes. If you’re charged with a Class D felony or worse, your case will be transferred to a Part A court.
- Part B handles less serious crimes.
Before getting to the court you must first meet the arresting officer and booked in at the police station. There’s numerous opportunities to meet a Coronavirus handler in these steps:
- Step 1: Having your information recorded including your name, contact information, type of crime you are accused of.
- Step 2: A mug shot is taken from different angles to record your height and distinguishable marks.
- Step 3: Your personal belongings are temporarily confiscated, such as a wallet, jewelry or anything that could be deemed as evidence to the police.
- Step 4: Your fingerprints may be taken either digitally or manually. Manual fingerprinting requires close contact. In some cases you may be required to provide a DNA sample.
- Step 5: A full-body search which elicits close contact. The police have a duty to ensure no drugs or weapons are brought into the cells.
- Step 6: A warrant check is conducted on the police database to see if the person is wanted for another crime elsewhere.
- Step 7: Health check. A health screening is performed to make sure the defendant is not in need of medical care or may be a potential danger to police or other defendants. As part of COVID-19 prevention, the police will check their temperature followed by a few questions. Many police operations have now changed due to Coronavirus. You can find much of this information about what to expect online.
- Step 8: Detention. You are locked up in a holding cell or other confinement space to await trial or obtain bail.
Getting released and reducing your risk
No one wants to spend time behind bars in normal times, let alone with a global pandemic going on.
It is often possible for a suspect to ask to be released on their own recognizance.
If this is not possible a bail bond can be posted. Securing a bail bond is another step that often requires close contact with bondsmen to sign documentation etc.. Many bail bond companies now have no-contact or minimal contact COVID-19 policies in place.
Regardless with COVID-19 spreading across many prisons, it is no longer a viable option for any defendant.
Family members who are worried about their loved ones being at risk in prison can speak to their local bail bondsman who should be able to give advice 24/7 about securing their release from prison and limiting their risk.