After Inmates Decry Lack of Masks by Officers, Missouri Women’s Prison Changes Policy


Corrections officers at a Chillicothe prison are now required to wear masks in the housing units, recreation area and other places within the women’s facility.

On July 13, The Star reported that several inmates at Chillicothe Correctional Center were worried that staff, who did not have to wear masks in most areas, were bringing the virus inside the prison’s walls.

“A lot of people in here are getting sick and it’s sad because there could have been better precautions taken,” wrote Kevyn Zumwalt, one of more than a dozen women who contacted The Star through the prison’s email system.

At the time, there were 24 cases, and masks were required only when people entered a quarantine area or interacted with someone who was symptomatic or had tested positive.

The number of positive inmates at Chillicothe has since ballooned to 195, the most of any facility in the state.

The department changed the mask policy on June 17, according to an email sent to inmates by prison officials Kimberly Herring and Ryan Coffman. Two women sent the email to The Star, which explained that inmates and staff are now required to wear face coverings in several areas including the control center module, housing units, recreation and food service areas and during transportation runs.


By: Katie MoorePublished: Kansas City

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