As I was reading the local fish wrapper this morning I saw a large article (covering half of A-1 and continued inside) about the “Gold Coat” program which is up and running at CHCF and apparently, if the article linked here is to be believed, in many other prisons too.
The “Gold Coats” are inmates who are identified by the bright yellow smocks they wear. They provide assistance to debilitated or incapacitated inmates. That assistance is often merely mobility. It also often includes helping the inmate fill out paperwork. (Anybody else see some possible HIPPA issues there, depending on what sort of paperwork we are talking about?)
There are currently 42 such inmates at CHCF who do this work. Their number is expected to expand to 100 as the current population of 1,345 moves towards maximum count of 1,722. The inmates involved see it as a useful and helpful job, if the couple of inmates interviewed for the article are to be believed. Inmate participants are screened for disciplinary history, behavior, physical ability, educational level and other criteria.
The article also asserts that the news people who toured the facility on Friday seem to think the place looked clean. It also asserts that intake is still cut off (which I have been told, but do not know for a fact, is NOT true). The article also asserts the program exists at other prisons and seems to be working well.