Dogged by low staff, Marquette Branch Prison gets MDOC assistance

MARQUETTE — With rising COVID–19 case numbers, the Marquette Branch Prison is getting assistance from the MDOC.

79 corrections officers are unable to work, due to contracting COVID–19 or being in close proximity to someone who tested positive. That’s where the MDOC is stepping in.

“For the brief period of time while staff are being treated or are off for a variety of reasons due to COVID, or not following the rules, we’re gonna have staff from our Emergency Response Team come in,” said Chris Gautz, communications for the MDOC. “These are individuals who work at other prisons in the area, who have volunteered to take this additional special training to become a member of ERT. They will come in and they will fill in those positions that are needed at the facility, so that they can continue to run safe and secure operations.”

28 staff members are absent for testing positive, while 37 are off due to close contact with a positive case, and 14 have been sent home for showing symptoms.

To help remedy this, the MDOC is bringing volunteers, along with 14 members of the Emergency Response Team.