In-person visitation at the state’s correctional facilities will resume this week.
According to a press release from the state Department of Public Safety, all state jails and prisons will once again welcome visitors in person effective Monday, March 28. Inmates were informed about the change. All families will have to follow new COVID guidelines for entry into a facility.
“Now that the latest COVID-19 outbreak to hit our state has passed, the department feels it is safe to resume family visitation as long as the families and inmates follow the added COVID-19 safety measures,” said Tommy Johnson, deputy director for Corrections, in the press release.
All regular visitation rules will apply as per policy. Each facility will resume their normal visitation schedule but will adjust to conduct visits in compliance with social distancing requirements for contained correctional settings laid out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We know inmates and their families have been looking forward to the restoration of visits and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we reestablish the process,” said Johnson in the release. “Because of the added social distancing requirement, the facilities will have to reduce the number of people in the visitation rooms. Wait times may be longer due to these new requirements and that means the number of visitors allowed in each day will decrease.”
The new COVID safety measures include the following:
- Visitors will undergo a temperature check and be required to fill out a COVID health screening form upon entry.
- Masks must be worn at all times.
- Visitation areas will be sanitized between each visit.
Individual facility visit schedules and rules can be found on the Department of Public Safety’s website.
CDC Guidance for correctional and detention facilities can be found here.
The Department of Public Safety continues to encourage all staff and inmates to voluntarily get tested and receive the COVID vaccine. For more detailed inmate testing data, the department’s Pandemic Plan and information about response efforts made to safeguard inmates, staff and the public, click here.