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Denver jails implement vaccine incentive program for inmates

The incentive program will offer 10 Ramen noodle soups, or a combination of one coffee and five Ramen noodle soups, for each vaccine a person receives.
Credit: Denver Sheriff Department

DENVER — The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) is implementing a vaccine incentive program for people who are in custody, the department announced Tuesday. 

The department said the incentive program will offer 10 Ramen noodle soups or a combination of one coffee and five Ramen noodle soups for each COVID vaccine a person receives. Inmates who have already received a vaccine dose while in DSD custody will also be offered these items for each dose.

The department said the noodles and coffee are commissary items, which are in addition to the three meals a day provided at both jails.

“In jails across America, vaccine incentive programs for individuals in custody are working and we decided to move forward with implementing one as well,” Sheriff Elias Diggins said in a news release. “We will evaluate the program monthly and hope that it will make a difference as we all continue to combat COVID.”

According to case data on the sheriff's department website, there are currently 79 active COVID cases at the Van Cise-Simonet Downtown Detention Center and one active case at the Denver County Jail.

This number includes inmates who tested positive when they were admitted to jail, as well as those who contracted the virus while in jail. 

The Denver Gazette reports as of early Tuesday afternoon, 23.6% of the jails' 1,624 inmates were fully vaccinated, plus 4.1% who had been partially inoculated.

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