Pre-pour in jail

by CCFCP CCFCP (New) New

Specializes in Corrections. Has 11 years experience.

So as we all know, Covid is really throwing a wrench in how we do things. My jail is just starting to see a large number of cases and we were recently told that we have to pass meds cell by cell in each dayroom. This means pre-pouring as the cart can't enter the dayroom and there are 2 tiers anyways. I'm uncomfortable with this as I feel there is a great risk for error and I've always been taught its a big no-no. I'm sure most nurses have had to do it once or twice but in this case I'm doing it for a few hundred people and oh yeah.. its on camera since its a jail. Are jails held to different rules and standards? Has anybody heard of this being a sanctioned method in corrections? I have been searching and cant find the info in the nurse practice act or rules and regulations for Colorado. Thoughts?


Specializes in Generalist. Has 8 years experience.

We commonly did it in WA. Label it well. Protect it from getting spilled or knocked off. In a way, you can focus better by prepouring and then keep your eyes on the inmates and have better situational awareness. Good luck!

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 26 years experience.

We have pre-poured for years. I don't see how there is any more risk for error than pulling it on the spot, and you don't spend as much time conducting pill call.

By-a-thred, RN, ADN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, home care, corrections and psych. Has 30 years experience.

Pre-pouring is safer in many ways when you are in a correctional setting. It can be done in the med room away from distractions and if you need to get something from the pharmacy you can with minimal disruption. When you are out doing cell to cell passes, you can be more situationally aware and you take up less of the CO time as well. If you do it safely it can be better than dealing with the distractions doing it one at a time. 


 West coast state, biggest jail in the state. We been prepackaging meds for years and years. Our 0400 med pass is always pre-poured regardless and since Covid we are having to pre-pour even more dorms for the day and evening med passes.